'Lifeline' dementia support hub to expand as demand for service soars

Kirrie Connections in Angus helps socialise dozens of local residents who've been diagnosed with the condition.

A “lifeline” community hub for dementia sufferers in Angus is expanding due to overwhelming demand.

Kirrie Connections helps dozens of local residents who’ve been diagnosed with the condition socialise and take part in activities such as dancing and drawing.

The model has since been adopted across Scotland with a further 13 services launched.

Organisers say demand has recently “rocketed”, with their Angus base reaching capacity.

Christina Grindlay and May Henderson regularly attend Kirrie Connections

Christina Grindlay regularly attends the centre.

She told STV News: “For me it’s a lifeline. It’s always been a lifeline.

“It’s just so friendly, so happy, so upbeat. If you feel down, they bring you up to the top.

“They can always be there, you can talk to somebody. You can’t always [do that] in the big communities.”

Organisers are currently seeking £20,000 in funding to begin plans to expand their premises.

“Since we’ve opened this new building we have supported over 70 families in Kirriemuir,” said the charity’s chief officer Graham Galloway.

Kirrie Connections is seeking £20,000 in funding to expand its centre

“In addition to that, the model which we pioneered here is now developing all over Scotland.

“There are now 13 centres from Stornoway down to Prestwick, including ones developing in Glasgow and Edinburgh now as well.”

Mandy Bennett has volunteered at the centre for five years, shortly before her own mum began attending the group for support.

She said: “I think she’s more outgoing since she’s been coming along.

“She does do day-care as well so that helps. I think it’s about her mixing with people and being with people.”

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