Two new benches have been installed in Brecon thanks to a local dementia awareness and fundraising group.

The Brecon Area Dementia Friendly Community raised the funds to create and install the two seating areas. The benches have been installed at the Canal Road play area and park (behind Theatr Brycheiniog) and another at Newton Green.

More than 20 people gathered at the Canal Road bench last Friday afternoon (May 19) to witness the bench being officially ‘opened’ by departing Brecon Mayor, Cllr David Meredith.

Chair of the group, Joan Brown, gave a short speech thanking all those who had a played a part in making the idea become a reality, including Jackie Thomas, Frances Isaacs, all of the volunteers and fundraisers, as well as both Brecon Town Council and Powys County Council.

Dementia bench opening in Brecon
Left to right: Jackie Thomas, Cllr David Meredith and Joan Brown (B&R)

“We should be really proud of what we have achieved in Brecon,” said Ms Brown.

“We involved schools and a lot of businesses - you only have to walk up through town to see how many have our signs in their window.

“Thank you to everyone who has played a part in bringing these benches to Brecon and has supported us and the cause we promote.”

Ms Brown then went on to explain how member Frances Isaacs, who lives with dementia, helped advise local businesses on how to make their premises more dementia friendly.

“From Frances’ lived experience, she is the expert and she was really good at sharing her advice,” said Ms Brown.

Ms Brown also thanked those involved with the group’s successful intergenerational projects, which continue to run, and local awareness sessions. She also paid tribute to the group’s members and volunteers, whose hard work “makes all of this possible”.

Cllr Meredith also paid tribute to the volunteers, as well as highlight the dementia lunch event which runs every Thursday from 11am to 3pm in Kensington Baptist Church Hall, Brecon (LD3 9AY).

The friendly meeting place offers support, advice and a space to explore and enjoy shared interests.

“The support from volunteers is amazing - well done to you all,” he said.

The two benches are made from recycled plastic and have walk-in seats for added accessibility.

Newtown Green dementia friendly bench
The new bench at Newton Green (Photo supplied)