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Press Release

Half a million pound grant for ground breaking programme for younger people with dementia

By February 3, 2019June 11th, 2019No Comments

The Award winning charity Age Connects Torfaen has received £324,209 from The National Lottery Community Fund.  The charity plans to use the grant to provide a unique, bespoke service for people aged 40 to 65 living in Gwent with young onset dementia over the next three years.

Dementia is defined as ‘young onset’ when it affects people of working age, usually between 30 and 65 years old. Although younger people experience similar symptoms to older people with dementia, the impact on their lives is significantly different. It is estimated that there are 42,325 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with this distressing condition.

The Zest for Life Project is already underway, providing a stimulating and creative visual arts programme. The grant will be used to provide Ceramics workshops, singing workshops, gentle exercise classes, activities based around reminiscence and encouraging self- expression.

You can see some of the work already created Cwmbran Library on the 31stMay 2019 from 11.00-3.00pm. The Zest For Life project are showcasing needle felting, painting, drawing, embroidery and poetry on the theme of Nature at an exhibition of the work from their weekly workshops. The aim of the exhibition is to celebrate every individual’s uniqueness that shines through what they create.

Age Connects Torfaen will be running sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Widdershins Centre, Sebastopol. Age Connects Torfaen also operates a transport service which is available by request to access any of the workshops.

Angela Reed, the Chief Executive of Age Connects Torfaen said :

“We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded us a grant which will help us to deliver specialised services to local people. Through a partnership£ with The University of Bangor, we are testing some of the outcomes with the people who access our services so we can make our service better for them.

This grant will enable us to start delivering an age appropriate service built around the person with dementia and their carer”

Over the next three years, the charity will work with partner organisations to ensure that Young Onset Dementia is a talking point in local communities throughout Torfaen and Gwent. Creating workshops designed for people with young onset dementia, helping to connect them with the communities they live in everyday life .

If you would like further information about the project, please contact Janet Bloor on 01495 769264 or visit our website



Follow Age Connects Torfaen on Twitter at @ageconnectstorf and visit for the latest charity news.

Age Connects Torfaen is the operating title of Age Concern Torfaen, a charity for older people living in Torfaen. We are a locally based charity which aims to reduce poverty, loneliness and isolation by providing information, activities and increasing independence of the service user.

Therefore, our mission is to continually strive to provide quality services, whilst encouraging involvement and well-being for older people in Torfaen by adding “Life to Years”.

For more information please contact Emma Wootten:


More information on Age Connects Torfaen’s Dementia Services:

Day Activities: Sessions are available Tuesday- Friday for people aged 65+ with memory issues or a diagnosis of dementia. The sessions provide older people with an opportunity to socialise in a safe and stimulating environment. Activities are tailored to the likes and needs of the participants. This service is a chargeable service and can be accessed either privately or through a social services contract.

Young Onset Dementia Service: The ‘Zest for Life’ Project is a service for people with young onset dementia or cognitive impairment. This 3 -year project was also funded by the Big Lottery Fund (now The National Lottery Community Fund, it supports younger people (40- 65 years] to live well and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with living with dementia and cognitive impairment. We welcome people with or without their carers across Gwent.

Dementia Life Coach: An expert in effective care-giving practices for people diagnosed with dementia, recognising and giving considerable attention to the needs of the caregiver. A Dementia Coach provides a bespoke service tailored to the needs of the individual. Typical services include:

  • Planning strategy for future needs
  • Ongoing support coaching
  • Informative and supportive coaching in the home
  • Safety assessment with solutions for problem areas.
  • Designing a setting to reduce stress, anxiety and guilt.

This service is funded through the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund until 2020

Dementia Advocate: A specialist advocate dealing with both instructed and non-instructed advocacy. This service is available for both the carer and the individual living with dementia. This is a free service funded through Lloyds Bank Foundation.

Specialist Dementia Counselling Service: We offer a specialist counsellor with experience of Dementia. Many people find it hard to come to terms with the fact that they have Dementia. Counselling is seen as an effective tool for helping make life as normal as possible. This service is available to the person or their carer.