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Alzheimer Scotland has officially opened its newly refurbished Inverness Dementia Resource Centre.

The centre, located on Strothers Lane for the past six years, will continue to serve as a community hub to support and connect people living with dementia and their carers and families across the region.

The opening celebrations were led by Depute Provost Bet McAllister from Highland Council along with Alzheimer Scotland Chief Executive Henry Simmons, Resource Centre staff, local volunteers and supporters as well as people living with dementia and their carers.

The purpose-built Dementia Resource Centre brings dementia to the high street by providing a stimulating and sociable environment for people living with dementia, their families and carers to access information, advice and support locally. The welcoming Café, which now takes centre stage, provides a friendly and welcoming place for people with dementia, their family, friends and the local community to meet up for a cuppa and a blether.

The centre boasts an active and imaginative calendar of group activities for a wide range of interests, including the Bacon Butty Morning and Football Memories, as well as regular education courses for carers and people living with dementia. The new-look centre also provides access to a broad range of new technologies to aid daily living including Alexa – the cloud-based voice service enabling people to play music, set alarms and ask questions. All technologies on display within the centre can help improve the quality of people’s lives.

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We are committed to providing the best possible standard of information, activities and support to people with dementia and those who care for them, in the heart of the local community. Our newly-refurbished Dementia Resource Centre is a bright, welcoming and easily-accessible community hub, dedicated to ensuring that nobody has to face dementia alone.

“Alzheimer Scotland would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has supported today’s opening, including the marvellous Ladies Lunch committee who have worked so hard in fundraising for this wonderful refurbishment. The ongoing generosity of our supporters is what makes our vital work possible, both here in Inverness and across Scotland.”

Depute Provost Bet McAllister from Highland Council, added: "There are more than 4,600 people living with dementia in the Highlands and this is estimated to double in the next 20 years.

"So many families and friends have someone affected with this illness. That's why the revamped Inverness Dementia Resource Centre is so important as a focal point for information and for people to have a chat and know that they are not alone.

"I hope this Centre, with its ideal city centre location, enables more people to volunteer or get involved in support groups."

Beth Grant, a local carer and regular to the resource centre, added: “My husband and I have made good friends through the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre in Inverness with people who have similar problems. We can come here to catch up, discuss issues, get support and advice. It’s a lovely relaxed, friendly atmosphere for me to unwind and provides a safe haven for my husband. It’s just what we need."

Wendy Burges, Service Manager for Alzheimer Scotland, added: “We are very proud of our beautiful new Dementia Resource Centre and look forward to welcoming the local community as they make use of our drop-in cafe area, as well as our groups for carers and people living with dementia. We hope everyone will enjoy the relaxing, friendly atmosphere.

“Moving forward, we plan to introduce new ideas for therapeutic and interest groups, including fish and chip cinema evenings and knit and natter groups.”

The Alzheimer Scotland Inverness Resource Centre will stage two open days to mark the re-opening on Tuesday 30 October and Friday 2 November (11am-3pm). The opening also creates new and exciting local volunteer opportunities in the area. By becoming a volunteer for Alzheimer Scotland, you can help support people living with dementia their families and carers in many positive ways, from helping groups in the Dementia Resource Centre, to local fundraising or supporting the therapeutic day activities.

To find out more about local volunteer opportunities, and about the open days, please contact the Service Manager, Wendy Burges on Tel: 01463 713424.

You can also find out more about the support available in your local area.