Bless Support welcomes new minister for loneliness MP Tracey Crouch

News of the launch of Bless Support was reported in the Ilford Recorder Thursday 1st September 2016

New day care centre aiming to help dementia sufferers socialise.

Rosaleen Fenton: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A day care centre for elderly people, and those living with dementia is officially opening in the borough in the middle of this month.

More than 50 guests attended the open day last week. including Redbridge Memory Clinic and Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering. Jenny Chapman, the founder of Bless Support, will be running the daycare service from her home, in Woodside Road, Woodford Green. She said: "We were delighted by the turnout on the day, it was brilliant."

"We were very lucky with the weather. and I was able to talk about the service I will be offering. It's all about providing a holistic service.I want people to feel comfortable and be able to enjoy socialising with other elderly people." The service, which will initially run for two days a week, will see Jenny offer a door-to-door service.

She said: "The emphasis is on positive socialisation. I want older people to continue to feel that they are valued, active members of the community. Lots of research shows that this helps improve wellbeing and health. So I can pick people up and bring them to my house, and drop them off at the end of the day. The service runs from 10am to 3pm, and I will  cook a nutritious two course lunch, based on what they fancy eating. I used to work as a chef, and I'm happy to cook whatever people like. So If people have an old favourite from their childhood, we can easily arrange that. I also will be offering a one to one service and signposting people to relevant services in the borough." Jenny who has more than 17 years experience caring for people with mental and physical disabilities, and dementia, says she's excited to start. She said: 'I'm raring to go. I think its very important that social isolation is tackled."

The day care service is open to residents in Redbridge, and parts of Waltham and Epping Forest. In the future, Jenny hopes that she will extend the service, which will be every Wednesday and Thursday. She said: "It all depends on take-up. I've currently got about half the spaces filled and I'm going out and about to meet different groups around the community."

• To find out more about Bless Support, visit blesssupport.co.uk or contact Jenny directly on 07956 612494.