A NEW volunteer group working to improve the lives of those in and around Northwich living with dementia is calling on the town's business community for support.

Dementia Friendly Northwich is making the appeal ahead of World Alzheimer's Day tomorrow (September 21), which is an annual event aimed at demystifying the disease.

The group was established earlier this year with the goal of raising awareness and improving understanding of dementia.

Deputy town mayor Cllr Kate Cernik said: “We want Northwich to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone and feel passionately the support of local business owners is important to make this happen.

"Learning from the experiences of others elsewhere, when workers and other partner organisations are more aware of dementia’s impact and how they can play a part to help those living with the condition, it genuinely makes a big difference."

Statistics collated by local GPs show there are currently 645 people living with dementia in Northwich and the surrounding area.

According to the most recent figures published by the NHS, close to 3,000 older people in Cheshire West have been diagnosed, though the actual number living with dementia is likely to be higher at around 5,000. There are believed to be around one million people in the UK affected by the disease.

Dementia Friendly Northwich, which consists of more than a dozen individuals from organisations in the charity and public sectors among others, aspires to create a community where people with dementia are understood and respected.

A Facebook group has grown already to more than 150 members, and there are plans to deliver Dementia Friends information sessions – devised to help anybody take action – in the coming months.

Some members have become Dementia Friends already.

On World Alzheimer's Day itself, the group is holding a Dementia Awareness Tea Party between 10am and 1pm at The Salvation Army Hall in Tabley Street.

To find out more, and to receive regular updates on the group’s forthcoming activity, search ‘Dementia Friendly Northwich’ on Facebook.

Any businesses interested in staff members becoming Dementia Friends should do the same.