Northampton’s only specialist dementia day care provider, nominated for Best Lockdown Hero” award.

Just 6 months after opening the doors to their first day care centre at St Luke’s community centre in Duston, Affinity Daycare C.I.C. have not only been shortlisted for an award but have opened their second centre focused on dementia care for older adults living in Northampton. The new centre, which is based at St James Community Centre, opened on Monday 15th June and will be open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:30am – 3:00pm.

Affinity Daycare C.I.C. is now the only organisation offering specialised dementia care in Northampton. With cuts to public services and the negative impact of COVID-19 adding pressure to the adult social care industry across the county, there has never been more of a need. Over 920,000 people currently live with dementia in the UK and that number is set to rise to over 1 million by 2024.

Fern Overton, Director, Affinity Day Care C.I.C. explains why they have opened the second centre:

“A dementia diagnosis can be really scary for the individual and their family. It can feel like there’s no option other than full-time care. We want to help people stay at home longer by offering respite to carers and a person-centred environment that caters to the needs of every individual.”

Building on the success of their first centre, which opened in December 2020 and now sees 100 places filled each week, the new service at St James caters to groups of 12 people per day with 4 highly skilled, experienced and fully vetted care staff on hand.

Fern Overton explains how the first day went:

“We refer to our clients as our ‘friends’ and we were delighted to welcome new friends to the centre. They enjoyed a two-course lunch and a variety of activities including cognitive and physical activities. The group took time in the afternoon to make the most of the good weather and we sat outside with an ice cream and the sun on our faces. It was an opportunity for our friends to talk, even if their stories were confused, and for them to be listened to.”

The hard work of all involved has been recognised by the public who have nominated the organisation for the Northants Life “Best Lockdown Hero” award. They join finalists, Clare Gurney, Northamptonshire Walks, The Lewis Foundation and Northampton General Hospital.

Fern Overton, explains her reaction to being finalists:

“I can’t believe how far we’ve come in just 6 months. We’ve grown the service and had so much fun along the way. We’ve added two minibuses to transport clients safely and grown the team of staff and volunteers, welcoming 6 new staff members this week. We even went viral on TikTok with a special valentine’s day video!

To even be nominated in the same category as well-established groups and the ultimate heroes of lockdown, the NHS, is unbelievable. It’s completely overwhelming and testament to the hard work of all the committed staff and volunteers who want to help older adults celebrate later life.

We’re so grateful to the ongoing support of the community and humbled by the nomination. Whether we win or not, it feels like a win just to have made such an impact in a short time.”

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