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Chairman's Column - 21 December 2020

Published on Monday, 21st December 2020

Working with Outside Bodies - Dementia, the COVID Vaccine and the NHS

Councillor Mark Heard, Chairman of Maldon District Council writes;

“Consider this. Dementia affects one in three of us either directly or indirectly, so I hope you will read on!

"Many Councillors become representatives on Working Groups and ‘Outside bodies’ They attend meetings of different partner organisations and bring back their message to the Council. One I attended this week, was called ‘Dementia Friends Training Session’; now, I wasn’t sure what ‘training’ I needed - but it was a very interesting and engaging meeting and I wanted to say how it could affect any of us.

"The word ‘dementia’ is a term that covers a wide range of medical conditions including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Because the disease attacks our nervous system, it reduces the number of cells within and can shrink the brain to 20% of its original size.


"Living with it was likened to having a brain where all your memories are stored as books on a wobbly book shelf, sometimes books get mixed up and the individual just can’t remember names or places or words. Sometimes books fall off ….and that memory is gone forever. So, we should be patient with people who have this condition. If you or a partner are worried about this and not diagnosed – help is available through the Dementia Intensive Support Service (DISS) Open Mon – Fri 9:00 to 5:00. Tel 01245 515313.

"This weekend, our hard-working Directors, Managers and Staff have arranged for the Council Offices in Princes Road to be open to administer the eagerly awaited COVID-19 vaccine which is being given first to our local senior citizens. Appointments are arranged every 2 ½ minutes and I felt great pride to see the Maldon District Council offices hosting this life-saving procedure as I witnessed elderly residents enter and leave the building. My great thanks to the volunteers who had given up their day to help and who were on hand in the cold wind to direct people and keep things running smoothly. I have great hope that as our more vulnerable residents become safer, our future will return to normal again.

"This week has seen the build-up to Christmas shattered, at the time of writing this, it has just been announced that we are moving into Tier 4, and we will have to remain at home rather than mixing and risk any infection, especially when we are so close to receiving the vaccine. Please keep yourself safe - remember it’s not over yet – but it will be. Let’s ALL look forward to a better 2021.

"Finally, as it’s the season of goodwill, why not give someone you know a surprise telephone call to cheer them up and to wish them a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

"I do wish all of you who have read this far…. a very safe Christmas and let’s look to a Happy New Year."

Councillor Mark Heard, Chairman of Maldon District Council