Helping dementia sufferers work in their community
A PIONEERING volunteer scheme for people with dementia is being trialed in Hull.
Those with early-stage dementia will be given a personal mentor to enable them to carry out community work of their choice.
The Professional Advocacy Support Service (Pass), which runs the scheme, is looking to sign up 15 sufferers.
Yvonne Shaw, a director at Pass in Hull, said: "People who get a diagnosis of dementia are too often thrown on to the scrapheap. Often the diagnosis comes later in life and can lead to people losing their jobs, their mobility and what little individual freedom they have left.
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"It is a knee-jerk reaction to protect the individual but we want people to think differently and start to understand that people with dementia still have a value and purpose."
Known as the Volunteering in the Third Age of Life (Vital) Project – it is a pilot scheme created to promote the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia.
The pilot, which has funding for two years, will see Pass train 15 volunteer mentors to a nationally accredited qualification in dementia awareness.
It is looking to establish a team of trained volunteers who will support people with early-onset dementia to carry out a volunteering role of their choice.
The organisation has been able to launch the project after securing money from the Big Lottery Fund and cash from NHS Hull.
Mrs Shaw said: "We provide those in need with a voice, giving them a choice and control over their own lives by providing individuals with the right information, offering practical support and solutions.
"There is no prescription as to what the volunteer has to deliver – it can be anything they want.
"People living with dementia can still play a vital role in their community."