A KEIGHLEY dementia charity has secured funding to develop its work with ethnically diverse communities in the town.

Dementia Friendly Keighley will receive £75,000 from NHS Charities Together to recruit a minority ethnic project worker.

The role will involve engaging with communities, raising awareness of the services available and looking at barriers people face when accessing them – and encouraging those who need help to seek early intervention and support.

There will also be additional home-based occupational therapy, with tailored consultations and support – including self-management and education for people living with dementia, as well as their family network.

Act as One, the health and care partnership for Bradford district and Craven, backed the funding bid for the initiative which will build on work already carried out by Meri Yaadain – a project set-up in 2006 to explore the impact of dementia on South Asian families, with health support provided by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Julie Lintern, manager of Dementia Friendly Keighley, welcomed the funding.

She said: "Dementia Friendly Keighley has made great strides in developing culturally-appropriate services for the communities we serve. The funding will help us build on this work, including a specific community engagement role that will assist us in our efforts to engage with people so they know how they can access support.

"In addition we will be able to improve home-based care, which should reduce the need for people to be admitted to hospital as they and their families will be more confident in managing their health at home."

Rob Aitchison, chief operating officer at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and the senior responsible officer for the Act as One Ageing Well programme, voiced his support for the initiative.

He said: "We are really pleased that NHS Charities Together has funded this programme of activities.

"We know that Dementia Friendly Keighley, Meri Yaadain and our other partners have made significant progress to ensure people understand dementia and know how to access care – and help the health and care system understand where there may be gaps by sharing feedback from local communities. This funding will go a long way towards addressing some of the issues that have been identified by our partners and colleagues."

He added that the NHS Charities Together funding was being targeted at supporting work in tackling health inequalities across the area.

For further information about Dementia Friendly Keighley, visit dementiafriendlykeighley.org.uk.