DementiaPXChristian lecturer starts new Norwich dementia group  

Next month Sarah Housden, a Christian and a Senior Lecturer at the UEA, will use her expertise and passion to launch a new monthly Dementia Support Group in Thorpe St Andrew open to anyone in the early stages following a dementia diagnosis, carers or those with concerns or an interest in the area.  

SarahHousdenFor the past 30 years Sarah Housden (right) has worked with people living with dementia and their families - in the community, care homes and hospitals. Sarah, who is part of St Francis Church in Heartsease, is an occupational therapist by training who now works as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at UEA. Her passion is to support people living with dementia so they experience maximum wellbeing.

On Saturday, October 5, 2.30-4pm Sarah, with a group of volunteers from a range of churches, will launch the ‘Finding Meaning in Dementia’ group. The group will meet at Gateway Vineyard church’s community café, ‘the place’, in Thorpe St Andrew on the first Saturday afternoon of each month.

Sarah said: “The intention is that ‘Finding Meaning in Dementia’ will complement existing groups and activities for people in the early stages following diagnosis, those caring for someone with dementia, as well as for people who are without a diagnosis of dementia but who have concerns or an interest in this area. Where a need for more in-depth or extensive support is identified, those of us facilitating discussions at the group will signpost to other organisations and services.”

The content will vary each month with guest speakers, discussions, question and answer sessions, short films and sharing ideas and resources.

Sarah said: “The group is open to people of all faiths or none. However, one aspect of ‘finding meaning in dementia’ which we hope to explore with those who come is ‘spiritual meaning’ including how to maintain hope, identity and a sense of purpose in the context of dementia.”

It is hoped that similar groups can be set up in Norwich in the new year if the approach proves successful.

Anyone who would like to find out more about coming along to the group or volunteering, can contact Sarah at sarahj.housden@gmail.com or by phone in the evenings on 01603 436907.

‘the place’, 61 Spinney Road, Thorpe St Andrew, NR7 0PL

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