Innovative scheme to support those with neurological conditions is launched in village

The launch of the Changing Lives initiative in Somersham.

The launch of the Changing Lives initiative in Somersham. - Credit: Archant

An innovative project aimed at supporting people with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease has launched in Somersham.

The Changing Lives project was officially unveiled at the Millennium Pavilion in the village and the launch was attended by North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara, Somersham councillor Steve Criswell, and members of the parish council.

The scheme has been set up for people living in Somersham and the surrounding villages and it has been designed to help those living with degenerative neurological conditions to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

The project has received funding from Cambridgeshire County Council’s innovation fund and will focus on keeping those participating active and fit.

Help will also be provided for carers and family and friends who are in need of respite.

Somersham Parish Council has taken a lead role in supporting members of the community with long-term health conditions by setting up a Timebank, writing a community plan and running a health and wellbeing group to connect volunteers and health professionals in the area.

Mr Vara said: “Changing Lives is a great initiative and I was very pleased to launch this innovative project. It is so inspiring to see the community rallying around to help others.

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“As well as benefits for those living with degenerative conditions, it is excellent news that help for carers, family and friends is also being offered as they often give so much without recognition or reward.

“Cllr Steve Criswell has provided terrific support at county council level and Penny Bryant, clerk to Somersham Parish Council, and

Lucy Bird, Timebank co-ordinator, deserve a huge amount of praise for the enormous work they have put in. I wish the project the very best for the future.”

Cllr Criswell, who is chairman of Somersham Parish Council, added: “This is another example of the local community looking after its residents. The Changing Lives initiative helps people to live with certain conditions and remain a valued and active part of the community.”