New Alzheimer’s Society activity group launches for people with dementia in Winchester

Press Release: 18/06/2015

Kit Bags and Berets

A new activity group for veterans with dementia is being launched by Alzheimer’s Society in Winchester.

The ‘Kit-Bags and Berets’ group, which will take place at St. Andrews Garrison Church, Connaught Road, Worthy Down, Winchester SO21 2RG on the second Tuesday of each month, provides a social atmosphere that aims to help people with dementia keep physically and mentally active as well as helping people express themselves.

The group is aimed at veterans, enabling ex-service personnel with dementia and carers to meet in a relaxed social setting.

Kelly Inwood, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for the area, said:

We’re really excited to be launching this new group in Winchester. Activity groups can make a huge difference to people’s sense of wellbeing, giving people the opportunity for peer support, reminiscence and sharing experiences in a group that ‘speak my language’.

There are 1,837 people living with dementia in Winchester. With the right support people can live well with the condition for a number of years.

Thanks to funding from Hampshire County Council and support from the Winchester District Health & Wellbeing Board, the group was officially launched on Tuesday 9 June by Cllr Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health & Wellbeing.

He said:

This activity group provides lots of opportunity to reminisce around service life. It is also great to see current serving military personnel from Worthy Down in attendance and supporting the group.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:

Over the past two years, the County Council has been working closely with partners to help create dementia-friendly communities across Hampshire supporting people with dementia to live a good life. We have been delighted to support the Kit-bags and Berets project through our public health grants programme and to see the further forging of strong links between past and present serving personnel.

For further information on the group, contact Sheila Ancient, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Worker on 01256 363393 or email