HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens Sage House

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Yesterday, HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opened a new dementia support centre: Sage House. Accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex and Mrs Susan Pyper, and was greeted at Sage House by Anthony Wickins, Dementia Support Chairman and Founder, and Sally Tabbner, Chief Executive; and the Chairmen of the West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council.  

Her Royal Highness was shown around Sage House, by Sally Tabbner and Anthony Wickins, to see the various dementia support services and met with customers, carers, volunteers, members of staff, trustees, and key people involved in the project.

She also visited the Memory Assessment and Information Zone where she was talked through the memory assessment process and the tools used.  There was also a discussion about the Sage House Wayfinding Service, and the benefits of receiving good advice and emotional support throughout the dementia journey.  

The visit then moved on to the Care and Activities Zone where the charity provides dementia wellbeing sessions and day care.  Here, The Countess had the opportunity to speak to people living with dementia, and their families and carers, who were attending a dementia wellbeing session.  

To conclude her visit to Sage House, The Countess unveiled a commemorative plaque and she was presented with a posy of flowers by Edward Page (aged 9), Bella Page (aged 6) and Iris Randell (aged 12).  Siblings Edward and Bella live in Tangmere and both chose the name of the Café – Daisy’s Café, in honour of their great-grandmother Daisy, who had dementia. Iris’ submission: ‘Forget-Me-Not Lane’ has been used for a corridor in Sage House.

The Dementia Support Hub will welcome anyone who has a concern about memory loss, with or without a formal diagnosis.  For many, it is important to have a formal diagnosis and to know more about their specific circumstances and changes in their memory.  For those people, the Memory Assessment Service is where they can be assessed and formally diagnosed.

Dementia Support was set up in 2014 by Anthony Wickins, former Chairman of local hospice St Wilfrid’s, and Lucinda Langmead, after her father was diagnosed with dementia.