A community centre in Parson Cross is spreading awareness of dementia this holiday season through their forget-me-not Christmas ornaments.
Parsons Cross Forum asked community members with dementia to write messages for their loved ones on Christmas ornaments shaped like forget-me-nots, which are currently hanging at the community centre.
Louis Askew, who runs Parson Cross Forum, said: “Working with the people around dementia for the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that they enjoy doing a lot of arts and crafts.
“We decided that a nice way for them to share some of Christmas with us was by decorating their own forget-me-not Christmas ornaments.
“For our elderly community members, ‘forget me nots’ symbolise dementia, which is why we decided to use them for our ornaments.”
Ms Askew and her colleague, Louis Ashmore, have been working around dementia for the last six years. Three of which have been dedicated to running Memory Cafe, a project that encourages people with dementia to interact with other community members.
They also hold JABADEO, a coffee morning every Monday and Tuesday for people with dementia and their families.
“The dementia flowers were laser cut by a local shop just across the road, our staff finished them up and now everybody gets to put their little messages on, so it feels like a proper community effort,” Ms Askew said.
“Just before we close for Christmas, everyone can take their forget-me-nots so they can hang them on their own trees.”
The community centre has recently secured National Lottery Funding of just over £400,000 to continue running dementia-related projects for another two years.
Ms Askew was pleased to see the positive response of the project by elderly community members.
“They loved it,” she said.
“Some of our members have lost loved ones recently. The forget-me-nots are giving them an opportunity to write little messages to them, hang them up a tree and share some of their feelings,” she adds.