Amanda Bowen, who has worked for care providers and community groups for 20 years, is now the new Dementia Co-ordinator for Tavistock Dementia Alliance, providing a vital role in supporting people with dementia and their carers.

Lynn Roddy, Chair of Tavistock Dementia Alliance and owner of Home Instead, explained the part time role was possible due to a grant from the National Lottery of £130,000: “I’m delighted to welcome Amanda to this role. We need to match fund the lottery money and hope now that people will nominate Tavistock Dementia Alliance as their “Local Cause” for the Co-op Community Fund. Amanda is a great asset to our service. She will be working with our various partners in helping carers and those who they care for make the most of their lives and be as independent as possible for as long as possible along the dementia journey. We have a five-year-action plan and have to report half-yearly to the Lottery on our progress.”

Plans include Amanda setting up a phone support line or ‘buddy’ service where mostly carers will be able to call volunteer advisers in order to share practical experiences of care and support. Amanda, who managed the TorrAGE Ageing Well project for TTVS (Taw and Torridge Voluntary Services helping people over 60s) said: “I’m delighted to work with Tavistock Dementia Alliance and I’m really motivated by making a positive difference to people’s lives, however small. I’m looking forward to working with a range of people to continue the success of our services and identify new opportunities to assist with the challenges posed by the effects of dementia. The buddy phone service will also be a peer support group which helps reduce isolation and ensures there will be someone to talk to with similar experiences. There are many different types of dementia and this makes it a very individual condition with several progressive stages, so each person has a different experience, depending where they are on their dementia journey.” She will be identifying where there are gaps in provision of dementia support and evaluating existing sources of provision with partner providers and developing new initiatives. Amanda also hopes to enable access to support in villages. Anyone needing support or is interested in volunteering can call 07716 849839 or email [email protected]