Monday, 18 May 2015

New dementia service launched in Hartlepool

Joanne Blackwood  and Michael Poole cut the ribbon to open The Bridge.

Joanne Blackwood and Michael Poole cut the ribbon to open The Bridge.



A new dementia service has been launched in Hartlepool in a bid to help the 1,200 town people who suffer with the disease.

The Hospital of God at Greatham spotted a void in services available to dementia sufferers and their families and have opened The Bridge, based at the Gemini Centre, in Villiers Street, in Hartlepool town centre.
David Granath Director of the Hospital of God Greatham. Picture by FRANK REID

David Granath Director of the Hospital of God Greatham. Picture by FRANK REID


The idea behind the new initiative, which has opened as the country recognises Dementia Awareness Week, is to ‘bridge’ dementia services and make them more accessible.
David Granath, director of the Hospital of God, a charity which was founded in 1273, said: “We already run services such as care in the community, and memory cafes for people in Hartlepool with dementia, but we felt that there wasn’t a focal point for them. We needed somewhere where people could walk in and either get advice and support or as a gateway to other services we run. It is a focal point in Hartlepool town centre to take the stigma and tabboo away from dementia.”
The Hospital has taken on some new information-workers, and deployed current staff to the new site.
“At the minute there are 1,200 in Hartlepool with dementia,” said David. “We know a few hundred of them - so there is maybe 800 to 1,000 people not receiving support.”

We needed somewhere where people could walk in and either get advice and support or as a gateway to other services we run.

David Granath, Hospital of God
From The Bridge, people can access day care, memory cafes, advice about dementia, community pastimes, and home from hospital rehabilitation support.