A GWENT charity has received £324,209 from the National Lottery Community Fund to help combat young onset dementia.

Age Connects Torfaen plans to use the grant to provide a unique, bespoke service for people aged 40 to 65 living in Gwent with young onset dementia over the next three years.

Dementia is defined as ‘young onset’ when it affects people of working age, usually between 30 and 65 years old. Although younger people experience similar symptoms to older people with dementia, the impact on their lives is significantly different.

It is estimated that there are 42,325 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with this condition.


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The Zest for Life Project is already underway, providing a stimulating and creative visual arts programme. The grant will be used to provide ceramics workshops, singing workshops, gentle exercise classes, activities based around reminiscence and encouraging self-expression.

On Friday, May 31, The Zest For Life project is hosting an exhibition of the work from its weekly workshops at Cwmbran Library between 11am and 3pm.

Age Connects Torfaen will be running sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Widdershins Centre, Sebastopol. The charity also operates a transport service which is available by request to access any of the workshops.

Angela Reed, chief executive of Age Connects Torfaen said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded us a grant which will help us to deliver specialised services to local people.

"Through a partnership with The University of Bangor, we are testing some of the outcomes with the people who access our services so we can make our service better for them.

"This grant will enable us to start delivering an age appropriate service built around the person with dementia and their carer”

If you would like further information about the project, please contact Janet Bloor on 01495 769264 or visit our website www.ageconnectstorfaen.org