A NEW chapter has begun in a library’s history after a deal was signed to transform it into a support centre.
Age UK will turn the former Doxford Park Library into the base for its new Essence Service, which will see the charity team up with Sunderland Carers’ Centre to support people with dementia, as well as their carers.
Each will be given their own plan, which will include advice to help them live independently for as long as they can, how to handle their finances and keeping active.
The refitted centre, which Age UK say will see a “significant investment”, will also host Memory Lane cafés run by Action on Dementia Sunderland, with work also to be done to tackle stigma relating to dementia in the city’s Bangladeshi community.
It will also link up with other organisations to turn the Mill Hill Road building into a busy hub for activities.
The project will receive funding help from Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group.
About 600 people across Sunderland and its surrounding towns and villages have dementia.
Alan Patchett, director of Age UK Sunderland, said: “There is a gap in support for people when they are diagnosed with dementia.
“Invariably they get good medical advice, but very little practical support. So we are going to have staff who will meet them on a one-to-one basis, and their carers as well, and the aim is to keep them in the mainstream, help them to do what they always have and support them and make provisions for their future.”