Fabulous Forgetful Friends
Meeting monthly, Fabulous Forgetful Friends is a new peer support and influencing group which aims to empower those living with dementia in Manchester.
In the last decade great strides have been made in raising awareness of the condition. Often, however, the picture painted of those with the dementia is negative; focussing on what they can’t do or seeing them as a burden.
The new group, Fabulous Forgetful Friends (FFF), wants to show that people with dementia are making a positive contribution to society and can enjoy life.
This is not to say that the difficulties of living with dementia are ignored. The group will act firstly as a safe space where those with dementia can share their experiences of the many challenges it brings.
Rather than simply discussing its challenges, however, Fabulous Forgetful Friends also seeks to make the lives of those with dementia better, and will provide a platform for its members to educate and influence others in order to make public services more dementia friendly.
Maria is a founding member of FFF and says, despite some progress, there is still a long way to go when it comes to dementia awareness.
“People with dementia can often appear perfectly normal, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a disability. FFF will raise awareness and help people better understand dementia. Working together we can help to build a safer and more supportive community for people living with dementia in Manchester.”
Maria is also keen to set a positive example for others with dementia.
“As someone living with dementia I want to help others build their confidence and show them that there are things that we can do, that life isn’t over; just because we have this disease we can still live a good life.”
The project received its initial funding from the Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project (Deep), a national network of groups. The co-ordinator of Fabulous Forgetful Friends, Sally Ferris, said that ongoing support of many kinds is needed for this group to make a difference.
“We wanted to set up FFF because there are some amazing, inspiring people like Maria who have a lot to offer and teach us. We want more people to join us, either as members or volunteer Buddies and we welcome invitations to speak and work with organisations who want to become more dementia-friendly.”
For more information please contact Fabulous Forgetful Friends via Together Dementia Support: firstname.lastname@example.org; 07854 335890