A DEMENTIA centre that supports people in the community suffering from memory difficulties has said they will have to close in the new year if funding doesn't improve.

Caroline Hutton, from Bromborough, is one of the four directors at Retain Wellbeing CIC.

Retain Wellbeing CIC (Community Interest Company) was formed in 2016 to help improve the lives of people living in the community.

Caroline, and the founder of the company Cathrina Moore, visited the Netherlands to find out about the MeetingDem project.

This project is funded by the EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Diseases research, for community-dwelling people with dementia and their family carers successfully in three EU countries (Italy, Poland, United Kingdom).

Speaking to the Globe, Caroline said: "The centre down there was just amazing. We had no idea who was a carer, who was a worker, who had memory problems, and what was important was everyone was equal.

"Me and Cathrina both decided that was what we wanted to do in the future."

Wirral Globe: Caroline and her groupCaroline and her group (Image: Welcome Me)

After locating a building that suited, on Waterworks Lane in Hooton, the company set up Welcome Me in December 2021.

"Dementia support is at the core of what we’ve been trying to achieve", Caroline said.

"We now help eight pairs of people a day, so 20 pairs a week, someone with a memory issue and their carer. It can be up to two years from that initial ‘somethings wrong’ to get a diagnosis, so we focus on the positivity on what’s being done or can be done rather than what's being lost."

Generally, the format of each session is that the group meets, has a tea or coffee and a catch up chat, the whole group join in with some movement to music either seated or standing and then often the group splits and the carers gain knowledge and support from each other while those with memory difficulties participate in a variety of activities.

Activities include quizzes, decorations, planting, playing games and more.

Caroline has previously received lottery funding, and continues to host charity events, and more to keep the group going, however, she has now said the project is at "breaking point".

The 49-year-old explained: "The demand and the need is there but if we don't get the money we need by the end of January we're going to have to wrap it up.

"Our bidding for funding with the local authority was knocked back. 

Wirral Globe: Welcome Me fundraisingWelcome Me fundraising (Image: Welcome Me)

"It would be really hard to close it down. We have seven volunteers and it's their lifeline as much as it's mine. 

"I've had a really rubbish personal year so going into the groups and helping them and seeing the difference we make is the only thing that's kept me going.

"I’m feeling very emotional about it all because I’m on the verge of letting so many people down because there’s nothing in the area to help people the way we do, that’s the hard bit.

To find out more, become a volunteer, or donate, visit here.