A DEMENTIA resource centre is set to open in Alloa in the new year following a year-long campaign to raise the necessary funds.

Alzheimer Scotland's local volunteer branch embarked upon a campaign at the start of 2019 to raise an enormous £100,000, the amount required to kit out a dementia resource centre with the latest state-of-the-art equipment.

Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, committed to purchasing a suitable site in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire area for the local community should the total be met by the group.

Following months of fundraisers and hard work, the group is now delighted to announce that a property on Alloa's Mill Street is being acquired to open as the first dementia resource centre in Forth Valley.

According to Debbie Cassidy, one of the key fundraisers, the location was chosen due to the accessibility of Alloa with surrounding areas.

It was reported recently that one in 14 people over the age of 65 has dementia and that rises to one in six for people over 80, although it is not exclusively an older person's disease.

Debbie said: "We probably all know someone with the condition or whose family is coping with it.

"In Clackmannanshire the leading cause of death for females in 2018 was dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, the most common form of dementia, as reported by the National Records of Scotland office.

"The community focussed centre will be divided into two main areas. In one half of the building, day care will provide qualified support to people with later stage dementia offering stimulating activities, entertainment and much needed respite to carers.

"Included in the second half of the centre will be drop in activity groups such as musical memories, football reminiscence and games afternoons.

"A dementia café will be incorporated providing a comfortable environment for people living with dementia to socialise within the community.

"A dementia advisor will be available to sign post services, support opportunities and contacts locally. Carers will be included within the schedule where parallel groups will offer time to focus on their own role, needs and time."

So far this year, the volunteer branch has raised £85,000 with a great deal of support from local businesses and groups throughout Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

Recently, a party night at the Inchyra Grange Hotel raised £3,800. Tillicoultry Golf Club donated a further £600 from a sports night raffle bringing their total donated to £1,400, while a coffee morning in Parklands Pensioner Centre in Alva raised £1,000 on the day.

Despite the premises being chosen, the branch is determined to raise a further £15,000 by May 2020.

Debbie added: "Currently the dementia resource centre is at the planning stage and will open as a state-of the-art facility in spring 2020.

"Dementia Friends sessions will be provided for the local community supporting a better understanding of the disease enabling people with dementia the ability to live comfortably integrated within society.

"Volunteering opportunities will also be available involved in administrative roles, reception or supporting Alzheimer Scotland staff with daytime activities."

For further information, email dcassidy@alzscot.org