Kilmarnock dementia resource centre celebrates 10th anniversary

The Alzheimer Scotland Brain Health and Dementia Resource Centre in Kilmarnock is celebrating 10 years in the town.

Since it opened its doors in May 2014, the centre in College Wynd has gone from strength to strength, providing advice and support to an incredible 60,000 visitors.

To mark the milestone, the centre is hosting a special Tea & Blether event on Thursday, May 30 from 11am to 1pm, which is open to the whole community.

East Ayrshire Council Provost Jim Todd will be joining in the celebrations – exactly a decade since he officially opened the centre.

Visitors can enjoy a hot drink and a chat, while listening to live music from local performer Amy Penman. Raffle tickets will be on sale, with top prizes up for grabs including an afternoon tea at the Marine Highland Hotel Troon, a Tesco hamper and M&S vouchers.

As well as anniversary celebrations, the Kilmarnock centre will also be holding its annual Dementia Awareness Week concert on Thursday, May 30.

The sell-out event will see more than 200 guests gather at the town’s Park Hotel from 7pm. They will enjoy a range of music acts including Ayrshire Ukelele Clan, local Elvis performer John Reid, musician Charlie Gorman and Musichoir. Event host and actor/singer Jonny Griffen will also be singing hits from Proclaimer's stage show Sunshine on Leith.

Last year the concert raised an incredible £5,000 for Alzheimer Scotland, with hopes this year’s event will bring in even more vital funds.

When the centre opened, Alzheimer Scotland Chief Executive Henry Simmons said: "Our new Dementia Resource Centre in Kilmarnock will be a strong community hub offering information, advice, practical support and a wonderful, welcoming space for people living with dementia – both in the town and across Ayrshire.

"Having this dedicated centre will allow staff to develop more groups and supports to help ensure that people with dementia and their carers receive the level of support that they need."

Kilmarnock Centre Manager Sheena Boyd said: "It’s been an absolute privilege to work with all the people living with dementia, their carers and families. We have about 500 people a month come through our doors so it’s a really busy centre and there’s always lots of activities and events taking place.

"The ethos of Alzheimer Scotland continues to be that nobody faces dementia alone, our staff and volunteers continue to offer a warm welcome, help and advice along with fantastic therapeutic groups. We are grateful to receive such fantastic feedback from the people we support ensuring they feel cared for and listened to.

"I am delighted that the vision from our Chief Executive 10 years ago has been achieved and we will continue to strive to support the people of East Ayrshire to the best of all our ability."

Alan Syme, 67, from Kilmarnock, who lives with Alzheimer’s disease, said: "I've been visiting the Kilmarnock Centre for the past two years and it's hard to put into words the difference the support has made to me. The staff are absolutely brilliant.

"I love most things here and take part in activities like the coffee catch-up, live music events and the supper club. I love the company, the banter and it’s a place I can be myself. To me, it's a home from home."

Read next:

Don't miss the latest Ayrshire headlines – sign up to our free daily newsletter