Dementia drive gets the backing of campaigner Jim Patey

Jim Patey outside the Patey day centre
Jim Patey outside the Patey day centre

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HE CAMPAIGNED tirelessly to ensure dementia patients and their carers had support in the city – and now Jim Patey is backing The News’ Take Care Together cause.

Mr Patey, a former Labour councillor and Portsmouth Lord Mayor, has applauded our campaign and its three pledges.

These are to raise awareness of dementia, to double the number of dementia friends signed up in the area, and to ensure neither patients nor carers feel alone.

Mr Patey said: ‘I’m so glad The News is raising the profile of dementia through this campaign. It’s something I have worked on and feel passionate about and give the campaign my full backing.

‘Because of the work I did I had a day centre named after me, but we have to push on and make sure we’re doing enough to reach as many people as possible’

With his wife Joy, Mr Patey, 81, helped raise £150,000 to establish the Patey Day Centre, in Cosham, during his stint as the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth between 1992 and 1993.

The building was named after the Pateys in homage to their selfless work.

Mr Patey said he was inspired to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s after being left ‘numb’ by a programme he heard on the radio about the conditions while driving to Bognor Regis in 1989.

At the time he said he felt shocked that a terrible disease was there but no-one knew anything about it.

He devoted years of his life to raise awareness and then money to create a centre.

He added: ‘We need to set something in place to make sure there is a much bigger awareness of dementia.

‘It would be great if we could set up a board or forum that people from south-east Hampshire could join to represent patients and carers from their area.

‘Perhaps in the future we can get businesses to provide sponsorship to fund different dementia projects.

‘But before that the main aim is to raise the profile of dementia and what it means.

‘And not just Alzheimer’s disease, but all the other types of dementia you can be diagnosed with.’

The Patey centre is a daycare facility for people with dementia and was under the threat of closure.

However Portsmouth City Council decided to run the dementia care facility in Cosham from September last year for 12 months while seeking to find a new permanent provider.

The authority took over from Care UK, which it had been paying £160,000 a year to run the service, and staff from its adult social care team are carrying out duties.

A new venue for the Patey centre has to be found in the long run as Edinburgh House – which it is part of – is being demolished to make way for a new care home at East Lodge Park in Farlington.

Our three campaign pledges

OUR year-long campaign is committed to delivering three pledges in a bid to raise awareness and increase support.

We want our readers to get behind our target to:

- Raise awareness of dementia – each day this week The News will feature a series of stories on the condition and will continue to run stories throughout the year to help improve understanding of dementia.

- Double the number of dementia friends – at the moment there are 1,416 in Portsmouth, 405 in Gosport, 662 in Fareham, 96 in Havant and 443 in Waterlooville.

Our aim is to get more than 6,000 people signed up to the scheme by May, 2016.

- Ensure no-one feels alone – make sure information and support for both carers and patients is easily available and that there is a central point of contact for the Portsmouth area so people do not feel isolated.

Become a dementia friend

A DEMENTIA Friend learns more about what it’s like to live with the condition.

That then turns understanding into action, from helping someone find the right bus, to recognising signs, and supporting loved ones.

Anyone of any age can be a dementia friend and there are two ways of doing it – take an online course lasting an hour, or join a face-to-face session.

The News wants to hear from all those who take part in a course, so we can see the difference you’re making.

There’s a number of ways in which you can do this – email priya.mistry@thenews.co.uk and give your name, age, address and contact details.

Or send a Tweet to @portsmouthnews with a message and #newsdementia

To sign up, visit dementiafriends.org.uk