World Alzheimer’s Month has been celebrated every September since its launch in 2012, to coincide with World Alzheimer’s Awareness Day, which takes place on 21 September. The month is intended to bring greater awareness of the support available to those affected by dementia

The World Alzheimer’s Month 2023 campaign, ‘Never too early, never too late’, will centre around risk factors and risk reduction. Something that One Colchester advocates.

One Colchester, the City’s local strategic partnership has been committed to developing Dementia Friendly Communities since 2016.  More than 80 organisations have committed to actions that seek to improve the lives of people living with Dementia.  This work has been supported by more than £600,000 funding over more than 5 years from the National Lottery Fund, local public sector organisations and Community360, who facilitate the partnership.

Helen Clegg, Engagement Officer at Community360, and Chair of Colchester Dementia Friendly Community (DFC) said: “We now want to raise awareness amongst members of the public about the 12 potentially modifiable factors that are associated with developing dementia. which come from The Lancet Commission report 2020 on dementia prevention, intervention and care.”

She added: “The report produced by The Lancet highlights the need to share and engage with the public about the 12 modifiable risk factors associated with developing dementia. It is estimated that globally, 40 percent of dementia cases are potentially preventable.

Factors such as hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, lack of exercise and even hearing impairments can be contributing factors. The emphasis on prevention needs to be heard because currently no effective treatments to either cure or prevent dementia have been found. There have been no pharmaceutical breakthroughs in the last 18 years. Pharmaceutical drugs available for dementia only help to temporarily reduce symptoms and slow progression of this non-communicable neurodegenerative disease.”


According to Essex County Council nearly 20,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in Essex and this number is likely to increase to around 25,000 in the next ten years.

A fantastic example of collaborative and supportive working between three medical centres in North East Essex and Community360, has seen Abbey Field Dementia Café welcome over 50 people each month. The café is supported by Ambrose Avenue, Ardleigh and Abbey Field Medical Centres.

Barbara and Trevor have been visiting the café since its inception and know too well the importance of support.

“Trevor was diagnosed with vascular dementia in June 2022” said Barbara.  “We found out about the café from our doctors’ surgery. Trevor absolutely loves going and meeting people in the same situation. For me, it is a welcoming, social and friendly space and an opportunity for me to talk to other carers. I have also got some great information and tips from attending, including finding out there was actually a dementia clock we could purchase.”

Anne and Don Hopes are also advocates on the benefits of attending a dementia café.

“Don was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago and we both love attending” said Anne.” From a carer’s perspective I am able to relax at the café, it is so lovely to see Don enjoying himself and I can honestly say he is a different person after he has been. He has got to know lots of people and looks forward to going. He particularly likes the seasonal tabletop gardening sessions and just chatting to people. I have also made some good friends who are in the same situation as myself and the support we have is fantastic. The staff are brilliant, and we are certainly telling everyone about it!”

Helen concluded: “The café provides an opportunity for people living with dementia, their families and carers to spend time in a relaxed and supportive environment; to enjoy socialising with others living with dementia; to relax, chat or take part in enjoyable activities; and to receive information and practical support. On September 14th Abbey Field dementia café was transformed into a late summer tea dance and plans are afoot to form a singing group at the café, so watch this space.”

The Abbey Field Dementia Café runs every second Thursday of the month from 10.30am – 12.30pm

Organisations that wish to join the Colchester Dementia Friendly Community (DFC), please contact

01206 505250 or email (please mark any emails Colchester Dementia Friendly Community in the subject heading).

If you would like to find out more about our Dementia Cafés please click on the link below

List of dementia cafes