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New venture launches in Knowsley to support those with dementia or a sensory impairment

Cecilia Toole, George Howarth MP and Knowsley Council’s Assistant Executive Director (Adult Social Care) Julie Moss

A new initiative aimed at supporting those who have been diagnosed with or support those with dementia and/or a sensory impairment has launched in Knowsley today (Friday 12th January).

Sight and Mind is the brainchild of Cecilia Toole, who through her own personal experience, identified what support was needed for others going through a similar situation to her.

Cecilia applied to Knowsley Council’s Adult Social Care Micro Enterprise Fund – part of the Knowsley Better Together initiative which aims to bring people and organisations together to deliver better outcomes for Knowsley. Through this fund, bids of up to £500 are invited to either enhance existing services or help new ones to get off the ground.

Sight and Mind Community Interest Company (CIC) received a £500 grant which has funded a Disclosure and Barring Service (BDS) check for the project co-ordinator, together with insurance to ensure that legal requirements are met to deliver this service.

Sight and Mind has secured premises on North Mersey Business Centre in Kirkby and will be opening its doors every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am until 2pm. Each day, a number of sessions will be available for people living with dementia and their carers to take part in. This includes holistic therapy treatments, reminisce sessions, guest speakers plus many more to meet the needs of members.

The aim is to support residents diagnosed with dementia and other sensory impairment conditions, ensuring their voice is heard and the services they access are person-centred and meet their individual needs. The new venture will provide training, advice and information to carers and family members so that they have the skills and knowledge to act as a champion for their loved one during events such as hospital admission and hospital discharge.

Founder of Sight and Mind, Cecilia Toole, said “Having supported someone with dementia and dual sensory impairment, I wanted to ensure that others knew where they could go and what was available – what I call having someone ‘side by side through the maze’. Receiving the initial £500 grant was fantastic news for me – it meant people believed in me and what I was trying to achieve. I have been overwhelmed with the support and help I have received whilst trying to start up this venture and it’s with this support that I am now in a position to welcome residents and their carers from across the borough to come along and access our services.”

You can find out about Sight and Mind by visiting www.sightandmind.co.uk, Twitter @SightandMindCIC or calling 0151 545 1932 or emailing info@sightandmind.co.uk.

Cllr Chris O’Hare, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said “This fund aims to promote independence and wellbeing in communities and turning ideas into action. That is precisely what Celia has done and I wish her well with her new venture.”
Cllr Andy Moorhead, Leader of Knowsley Council, added “This is a fantastic example of Knowsley Better Together, highlighting what can be achieved by better partnership working. Celia had an idea but needed help to turn her idea into reality. With our support and Celia’s hard work, dedication and experience, we are now able to offer an invaluable support service to those residents who have been diagnosed with dementia or a sensory impairment. Well done to Cecilia and I would encourage others who have ideas that support adult social care to come and speak to us about their ideas.”

Further information about Knowsley Better Together is available on the council’s website www.knowsley.gov.uk/business/what-is-knowsley-better-together (click on funding applications to access the micro enterprise fund).

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