My name is Lorraine Dunn and I am excited to join the Assist Women’s Network.
I live in Darlington but am originally from Belfast and Scotland..complicated I know, just like me!
I am a retired SEND teacher of many years during which time I taught students aged 5-19 with diffabilities ranging from mild through to profound including autism, challenging behaviour and so much more.
After retiring early, I worked for Social Services as a business support assistant in Older Persons’ Team, OT, Learning disabilities, RIACT (Intermediate Care) and West Park Hospital.
My husband and I run Woodland Creations, making wooden homewares and tableware; we have traded all over the country at events from Perth to Devon. My husband makes the products and I do everything else!
I was diagnosed with mixed dementia over seven years ago but I refuse to let it restrict me too much.
I am a member of the DEEP Network (Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project) and through this I have met so many people just like me. I have ben able to participate in dementia research projects with York University (Curious About Care), Three Hands Insight, KYN Care Homes and so much more.
I am adviser for Dementia Friendly Darlington and have carried out walk throughs of various establishments to enable them to become dementia friendly, including Tees valley Airport and local GP practices; our next step in the Hippodrome Theatre, The Dolphin Centre and the council offices.
With the support of the Dementia Friendly Darlington Coordinator I have set up and now facilitate a group for people living well with Dementia and their care givers. This is a great success and provides opportunities for coffee, chat, support and social activities such as the theatre, bowling, and exercise activities. Another two groups are starting soon.
In my spare time?? I like to be with my grandsons, read and help people.
I hope my experience will support the Assist Women’s Network to be fully accessible and welcoming to all.