DEMENTIA day care services in Wellington are set to return after extra funding has been given.

Funding from Somerset County Council has given Reminiscence Learning, a dementia awareness charity, the opportunity to run respite centre care.

From April 1 later this year, the beloved charity will be extending the services it currently offers.

The funding from SCC allows the charity, which has been running since 2003, to make some improvements to its headquarters at the Counting House, Tonedale Mill.

The HQ will see a new kitchen area as well as a new quiet lounge.

On Mondays and Fridays, the charity will be open to provide activity respite sessions, with the overall aim of supporting carers and those they care for, including people with memory problems or dementia.

Fiona Mahoney, chief executive and occupational therapist, said: “I feel very proud and excited to be given this amazing opportunity by Somerset County Council to expand the unique services our charity already delivers.

"As a qualified Occupational Therapist, my team and I have been working very hard over the last few months, putting together a programme of respite activities, that is both innovative and creative.

“This will address the needs of the clients accessing the sessions who have memory loss or dementia. We will be supportive to both the client and the family carer and look forward to opening the respite activity sessions. I look forward to meeting you all then.”

The new sessions will run from 10am until 4pm with the opportunity to stay for all or part of the day and the new kitchen will enable them to provide healthy and nutritious snacks and lunches.

The news of the new service will be welcomed in the town, after the closure of Stratfield House earlier this year.

The closure of the day care service was a subject of contention for Wellington Town Council, Somerset County Council and the NHS.

READ MORE: Heated meeting over loss of 'loved' dementia day care services

Residents feared it would leave them with no option but to use care homes for their loved ones with dementia.

The closure was labelled as 'short-sighted' and a 'grave error in judgement' by town councillors.

One family carer planning to access the new respite said: “I am so pleased the carefully planned respite days, RAS, at the Counting House will be starting soon.

“This is a fantastic place for my husband to spend the day without me.

“There will be plenty of things for him to do and I know he will be well looked after by the lovely caring team.”

An open day is set to take place on Friday, March 29, from 10am until 4pm, for people to find out more.

Somerset County Gazette: