Members of the Prom Friendship Group recently travelled to St James’s Palace after being shortlisted for a national Alzheimer’s Society award.
The People Awards recognise the contribution of the staff and volunteers of the Alzheimer’s Society, with nominees chosen by members across the UK.
The special awards ceremony was held on April 15 at St James’s Palace in London, and was attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra.
The event was compered by celebrity ambassador Angela Rippon OBE, who is co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly Communities champions group.
The Prom Friendship Group was shortlisted for the ‘Bringing People Together Category,’ which celebrates staff and volunteers who embrace openness and respect and highlight an active commitment to developing meaningful partnerships with a focus on inclusion.
While the local group did not win the award, Prom Cafe Owner and member of the Prom Friendship Group Louise Magill says that their work is invaluable in supporting dementia and alzheimer’s sufferers in the Larne area.
Louise, a carer for her father Crawford who has vascular dementia, stated: “After my dad was diagnosed with dementia, I saw a need for support for fellow carers to share experiences, develop relationships and find out what support was available. We meet every month in the Prom Café and do different activities, like singing, craft and armchair aerobics.
“My dad was involved in the Prom Group and loved it, but he is currently not as well.
“The customers in the café who attend the group all say how much they value and enjoy it and I love being part of it.”
The Prom Friendship Group meets on the last Tuesday of every month in the Prom Café at Larne Leisure Centre from 6pm-7.30pm. The next meeting will be on Tuesday May 26.
According to 2013 Alzheimer’s Society statistics, around 1855 people in East Antrim are currently living with dementia, 408 of whom are in Larne. For information about dementia support, the Prom Café and the befriending service, contact 028 9336 2940. More information about the Alzheimer’s Society is available at www.alzheimers.org.uk.