New dementia service offers ‘lifeline’ to people in Brent

A new dementia helpline has been launched in Brent – offering advice and support for anyone concerned about the condition.

The service is run by Cricklewood-based community charity Ashford Place and is aimed at people with dementia, their families or anyone in the borough with questions about the illness.

The helpline, which provides general advice and puts people in touch with other services that can help, is funded by a £68,000 grant from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

Ashford Place usually runs a range of services for people with dementia, including dementia cafes, peer support groups and health and wellbeing sessions.

Its programme has changed due to Covid-19 and currently services are delivered online, by telephone and, when safe and allowed under tier restrictions, in socially distanced small groups.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee Dhruv Patel said:

“Ashford House is already doing great work to provide advice, support and activities for people with dementia, but Covid-19 means the social interaction which is so important for people with the condition has reduced.

“This new service will provide a much-needed lifeline for people to get their questions about dementia answered and, if necessary, access the support they need to manage the condition and plan for the future.”

Ashford Place hopes the service will promote early intervention, which can help people take control of their lives, plan for the future and live well – as well as tackling some of the misconceptions about dementia.

Danny Maher, Ashford Place CEO, said:

"Sometimes people think a dementia diagnosis means that’s it – your life is over – but in fact people can continue to live full lives, and early diagnosis means they can plan ahead and avoid problems further down the line.

“If people are concerned about memory loss in themselves or a loved-one, they often don’t know where to turn to get information or support, and trying to access services can be stressful and time-consuming.

“The helpline means we can connect them with others who can help, take the stress out of that process and make it as simple as possible for them to get the support they need.”

The helpline is open to anyone living in the London Borough of Brent and can be reached by calling 07904 202517 at any time of day and leaving a message.

More information about Ashford Place is at www.ashfordplace.org.uk

The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of over £25 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk

Case study: support from Ashford Place is a ‘godsend’

Marianne Wilson, aged 72 from Wembley, has cared for her 74-year-old husband Tom since his dementia diagnosis four years ago. Regular attendees at the Ashford Place dementia cafe every Tuesday for the last two years, it has become increasingly apparent that Tom’s memory and perception has been failing in the last six months.

A fall at home meant A&E, hospital admission and a move to a care home for Tom, where he still resides and has only seen Marianne once in that time.

Ashford Place supported her to negotiate funding for the care home – an experience that would have been extremely stressful to handle alone – and has helped her book phone calls with Tom, as both manage the best they can during the pandemic.

Marianne says it is a ‘godsend’ that she can call in to Ashford Place for a cuppa and a chat as she is finding the whole experience of being separated from her husband almost unbearable.

Now, she can pick up the phone and speak to Dementia Gateway Assessor Gabby for a chat too on the new helpline. The staff and volunteers at Ashford Place miss them too.

Picture captions

- Ashford Place service users pictured at a lunch event in pre-Covid times

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, has allocated £11.25 million to the London Community Response, set up to help charities deal with the impact of coronavirus, and has also given over £1.7 million in one-off grants to 202 organisations it already supports to help them offset lost income resulting from the pandemic.

The London Community Response Fund is administered by City Bridge Trust, the funding arm of Bridge House Estates. The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of Bridge House Estates and Members of its Court of Common Council form the City Bridge Trust Committee, responsible for taking grant and funding decisions for the charity.

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services

City of London Corporation

07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk