Kirrie leads the way for dementia care

Amanda Kopel officially opening the dementia garden in Kirriemuir.
Amanda Kopel officially opening the dementia garden in Kirriemuir.

Kirriemuir’s goal of becoming a dementia-friendly town took another step forward last week with the official opening of a beautiful garden.

Tucked behind Lyell Court off the town centre, the landscaped garden has a number of calming features which offer peace and tranquillity for those living with dementia, and their family members.

The garden was officially opened by Amanda Kopel, a leading light in the Frank’s Law campaign to get free personal care for those under the age of 65 living with dementia.

A few days earlier the garden hosted the official launch of ANGUSalive’s memory box scheme designed to trigger cherished memories with an assortment of objects contained in boxes available in all Angus libraries.

The new garden, complete with water feature, is part of a major project led by the Kirrie Connections Group to put the Little Red Town on the map as one of Scotland’s first dementia-friendly towns.

With three year funding of more than £250,000 from the Life Changes Trust, the group has already set up a community hub which is being used for a number of initiatives, including its first tea dance held last week.

Project co-ordinator Graham Galloway said: “Kirriemuir is one of a dozen dementia-friendly communities being developed all over Scotland, ranging from small local ones to one involving the whole of Ayrshire.”

The Kirriemuir project is supported by Angus Council and the Kirriemuir Central Area Regeneration Scheme and includes a variety of initiatives including signage, dropped kerbs and street furniture to help.

Volunteers are now being recruited to help in both the garden and the hub and to bring new ideas.