Dementia group treated to lunch as a ‘thank you’

Worthing Town Cryers tuck into their thank you Christmas lunch
Worthing Town Cryers tuck into their thank you Christmas lunch

Members of Worthing Town Cryers were treated to Christmas lunch as a thank you for their work towards developing a dementia-friendly service.

Steamplicity, the steam cooking system operated by Compass Group, has been working with the group for two years and hosted the maiden meal last Christmas.

This year’s meal was a lovely festive treat and acted as fuel for the town cryers, as they held their annual Christmas carol concert later the same day.

The town cryers are people living well with dementia who are working as one voice to make the town more dementia friendly.

Compass has a similar ambition generally, so it hooked up with the group to gather information and advice.

Steve Cenci, managing director of Healthcare at Compass, said: “I would like to say thank you to the Worthing Town Cryers for their continued work with us and also to those who have made it possible for us to return for a second year for Christmas lunch.

“The feedback of the Worthing Town Cryers is already making a real difference to those who live with dementia and has informed a number of new food offers that we have developed over the past year.”

The information Steamplicity has taken on board has contributed to the development of key initiatives, like the introduction of finger food, as it encourages people living with dementia to eat more, and creating a blue plate option to help those experiencing difficulties with sight and perception.

The company and group were brought together through Alzheimer’s Society and the Compass healthcare team recently raised £151,000 to help the charity fund a specific research project into dysphagia. These difficulties in eating, drinking and swallowing can affect people living with dementia and the information-gathering sessions provided vital feedback for the Steamplicity team to enhance the dementia food offer.

Tim Wilkins, Alzheimer’s Society service user involvement officer for West Sussex, said: “It’s great to see the partnership between Alzheimer’s Society working so well and I look forward to continuing our close work together in the future.”