Town Break was awarded £84,000 in October 2015 to run until September 2020.
This befriending initiative is geared towards people who have early to moderate dementia, with an emphasis on people who may not receive other support or those who have no carers and live alone. Each session is based on the idea of two friends meeting to chat about the things that they are interested in. Weekly visits provide companionship, mental stimulation and new friendships for the person with dementia, and for the befriender.
Person-centred support is at the heart of this service, in order to see the person, and not the illness. The Befriending Coordinator meets a person who is living with dementia and their relatives at home where they discuss interests, hobbies, or any activities they may enjoy doing. This process allows Town Break to match a befriender and a client based on shared genuine personal interests or hobbies. Sessions also support people with mild to moderate dementia to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible, and provide extra respite where there are family carers.
By offering friendship, it is hoped that the person with dementia will feel more confident, will have increased self-esteem, and an improved quality of life. Carers will also benefit from a period of respite which will help them be in a stronger position to support their loved one for longer in their own home.