A hand of friendship

Members of Alzheimers' Society, East Antrim, pictured with Larne Mayor Gerardine Mulvenna in the Mayor's Parlour. INLT 17-320-PR
Members of Alzheimers' Society, East Antrim, pictured with Larne Mayor Gerardine Mulvenna in the Mayor's Parlour. INLT 17-320-PR
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a new group for people living with dementia is being launched at the Prom Cafe. in Larne Leisure Centre.

The Prom Friendship Group will run on a monthly basis on the last Tuesday of every month from 6pm to 7.30pm.

It is being organised by the Alzheimer’s Society East Antrim Befriending Service and will provide a “safe and supportive environment” for people living with dementia to participate in leisure and social activities with the support of a trained volunteer befriender.

A number of the Prom Cafe’s staff has embarked on a recruitment and training programme to become volunteer befrienders with the friendship group,

Activities will be organised to suit the needs of members but are likely to involve arts and crafts, reminiscence projects, armchair aerobics, musical bingo or bocchia.

In addition, support will be provided for carers through a carer support group with opportunities for peer support. Speakers will be invited to talk on requested subjects and activities such as complementary therapries will be organised to provide an opportunity for carers to meet in a safe, secure and confidential environment where they can share experiences and concerns with others in a similar position.

Welcoming the new group, Larne mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna said: “As dementia is one of my chosen charities, I am over the moon to see the Friendship Club for dementia sufferers and their carers being launched in Larne at the Prom Cafe.

“Dementia is such a huge problem for the whole of our society and I so welcome the friendship group as a much-needed source of support for everyone who has dementia, who without the love and support of their carers, would be so much worse off.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved, but in particular to Maggie Taggart and Louise Magill, for their hard work, commitment and dedication to make this happen.

“Also, thanks to Alison Rankin, befriending manager, for working in partnership with them to facilitate the Friendship Club and make it happen in Larne.”