Actor John Altman, who is starring in this year's pantomime at the Grand Theatre, is taking time out from rehearsals to support Alzheimer's Society by calling into one of Wolverhampton's dementia cafés.

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Best known as Nasty Nick in Eastenders, John has supported Alzheimer's Society for many years and will be spending time at the dementia cafe at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Thursday (17 December) to join in the Christmas merriment with carols and mince pies.

John, who is playing Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the Grand Theatre, said: "My father developed dementia towards the end of his life so I know the impact it has on families. I am looking forward to visiting the dementia café where I will hear people's stories and about their experiences of living with dementia.

"I think it's important people are aware of Alzheimer's Society's services and know they have somewhere to turn to if they receive a dementia diagnosis."

Elaine Spiteri, Café Co-ordinator, said: "People can visit our cafes where they will receive a warm welcome, take part and find useful information. Those who use the service already have said how they really value this opportunity to meet others and share experiences."

Councillor Elias Mattu, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "I am delighted that John will be spending time at the dementia café at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 1 of 6 such cafés across the city which meet regularly to give people with dementia and their families a place to gather, relax and access support.

"Both my parents suffer from dementia, so I know first hand how important it is to give them - and their friends and carers - as much help as possible so that they can live life to the full."

The dementia café at Wolverhampton Art Gallery takes place on the third Thursday of the month 10.30am to 12.30pm. New members are always welcome. For more details visit Type=articles;Articleid=3330;Title=Wolverhampton dementia cafes;.

At Thursday's event, Alzheimer's Society will also launch its new publication, Becoming a dementia friendly arts venue: A practical guide. It provides hints and tips to arts venues on how to make facilities and programming accessible for families and their carers in providing stimulating and safe spaces for people post diagnosis.

Participating in arts activity has shown to have a positive impact on well being and by making small changes to environments and approaches can make all the difference.

For more details about the Alzheimer's Society, the UK's leading dementia support and research charity, please visit Type=links;Linkid=3328;Title=Alzheimer's Society;Target=_blank;. The charity also provides a National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.

  • released: Tuesday 15 December, 2015