August 22, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea firefighters are latest to become 'dementia friends'

Five months after its formation in April, great progress is being made by the Burnham & Highbridge Dementia Action Alliance Group, which is working together to make both towns both more dementia-aware and more accessible.

On Wednesday 2nd August, Burnham-On-Sea’s fire crews undertook their training at Burnham Fire Station, and Highbridge Medical Centre staff undertook theirs on 15th August.

Rev’d Sharon Eldergill from St Andrew's Church alsoi recently started a Dementia Friendly service on the third Thursday of every month at 2.30pm at St Andrew’s Church, which involves a short service with well-loved hymns and prayers, followed by tea.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Councillors have also undertaken their Dementia Friends training.

Dates have also been confirmed for Burnham Information and Rescue Centre volunteers on 22nd August, and Burnham-on-Sea Coastguard Rescue Team and BARB on 6th September.

A fire service spokesman said: "A very informative evening was delivered in a fun and enjoyable way that highlighted how little we really know about Dementia and the effects it can have on the person suffering from this disease."

"This training will now help in the future if we attend incidents where someone is suffering from Dementia. We have more understanding on how it affects them and how we are able to help. I am pleased to say that the whole crew on station signed up to be Dementia Friends at the end of evening."

Deborah Matthews, Chair of the Group, said: "It is really great to see how this is progressing, and fantastic to see how many individuals and groups have come forward to be part of what we are aiming to achieve."

"It would be great if some High Street businesses came forward to be involved as the economic value to our resort should enough take part would be immense. Nationally the Purple Pound is estimated to bring £249 billion into the UK economy."

"Following the airing of Channel 4’s 'Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds', one of my next appeals is for any nursing homes and nurseries/pre-schools/first schools within Burnham & Highbridge to come forward if they would like to discuss the possibilities of working together in some way, to perhaps form a monthly activity group or even something like a choir."

"I would also be keen to hear of local support for Burnham-on-Sea to have an official ' Changing places' facility, and have just launched a Facebook page to support this at"

If you would like further information on the group, whether as an individual or business within the towns, or would like to be involved, contact Deborah via email at

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