British Forces Veteran Group is now hosted by Tangmere dementia support service

The group is being hosted in Sage House
The group is being hosted in Sage House

A British Forces Veteran Group is now being supported at a dementia support service in Tangmere.

Sage House has now held its first meeting for the group, in which people living with dementia can reminisce about their time in the army, navy or air force. The session is set up in the style of a Naafi break with tea and cake.

At the first meeting

At the first meeting

At the first meeting, there were a mixture of forces attending, each swapping stories about their postings abroad and the antics they got up to.

The charity has received kind donations and loans of military items that provided talking points and memory joggers for the group.

In particular Grandad’s Front Room in Bognor provided some fantastic memorabilia on loan – shell cases, an ammunition tin, a REME (Engineers) uniform and authentic magazines from WWII. Grandad’s Front Room is a community shop which supports the local community, organisations and charities, and it has a treasure trove of vintage, recycled, upcycled and retro items.

The team at Sage House, who work for local charity Dementia Support, found that a lot of the people living with dementia, and their carers and families, who came to Sage House talked about their time in the forces.

Sue Craig, community relationships and learning co-ordinator, said: “Some of the people living with dementia we are seeing are the generation who did National Service and then stayed on in the forces, therefore there are a huge number of people with a lot of memories in common. Being in the forces for some people, is like being in a family, and these close knit communities and experiences can create some lasting memories. It made sense to create a group where they could meet and discuss these memories and socialise.”

The group meets every fortnight on a Friday, 10.00am to 11.30am, and the cost is £2.50 per person. Volunteer Jimmy Green, ex-Royal Artillery, runs the sessions and has been key is getting the group established. The next sessions are July 27, August 10 and 24, and thereafter every two weeks.

For more information, call 01243 888691 or email info@dementia-support.org.uk.

The charity is always looking for donations of military items to add to their memory boxes; if there are suitable items, call the office on 01243 888691.

Sage House is the first of its kind in the UK, which brings all dementia services under one roof for people living with dementia, their families and carers – day care, community care, Memory Assessment Service, social activities, health & wellbeing services, dementia information and advice.

The services are all provided within Sage House, and are available for approximately 5,000 people living in the Chichester, Bognor Regis, Arundel, Selsey, Witterings, Emsworth, Midhurst and Petworth areas. People living with dementia, their families and carers, will be supported to maintain their wellbeing, prevent isolation and access information and guidance.

For further information about Sage House, call the office on 01243 888691 or email info@dementia-support.org.uk