Smile's Community Insight Worker, Abi Olayanju recently visited Ballerina House in Pocklington to find out more about the Community Hub set up by Dementia Forward. 

Dementia Forward, the leading dementia charity in North Yorkshire, has developed Community Hubs to support families affected by dementia. A notable success story of this initiative is Ballerina House, which is at the entrance to Lavender Fields Care Village in Barmby Moor, close to Pocklington.

In December 2023, Dementia Forward attended a Community Development Drop In hosted by HEY Smile Foundation. The Smile team provided various resources to community groups and charities including funding advice, borrowable equipment from The Vault, volunteer engagement through Time2Volunteer, and promotion of local charities great work within the community.

Dementia Forward attended the Drop In as a partner to showcase the life changing work that they do at Community Hubs like Ballerina House and engage with residents to offer support.

A diagnosis of dementia can bring many challenges, and it is important that people know where to turn for support and advice and have opportunities to meet with people who understand.

Ballerina House has become a vital source of support for people like Richard, whose wife was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia in December 2022. Richard contacted Dementia Forward and was put in touch with a Dementia Support Advisor, who suggested they attend the Community Coffee Mornings at Ballerina House. The couple enjoyed their visit and soon became very relaxed at the hub; as Richard says ‘"We both get so much from the coffee mornings. We have made friends with other people who are in similar situations".

Once Richard's wife felt comfortable at the hub, she began attending one of the day services at Ballerina House, known as Hub Clubs, which she loves. The support and activities offer people not just a routine, but a community of support and friendship. Richard is grateful for the charity’s support - "I can’t imagine what our lives would be like without Ballerina House... all your help and support are very much appreciated, thank you."

Staff testimonials reflect Richard’s wife’s positive change, noting how relaxed and happy she is in the hub:

“She is very at home and takes ownership within the hub.”

“She supports others within the hub.”

“She tells us she loves coming, and gets angry at Richard if she misses one, and doesn’t want to go on holiday!”

“She is confident and relaxed in the hub.”

Richard's story is a testament to the profound impact of Dementia Forward's work. The staff and volunteers also received recognition from him for their compassionate service.

Some of the wider impacts of the Hub Club include:

  • Increased engagement and active participation in their activities.
  • Enhanced social interaction and support networks among attendees.
  • Significant growth in volunteer contributions and community engagement.

We both get so much from the coffee mornings. We have made friends with other people who are in similar situations.

Along with their regular services, the team at Ballerina House are working closely with Lavender Fields Care Village and are planning various joint events throughout 2024. 

They are keen to be a valued part of the local community and would love to see some new faces at their events, which include quiz nights, summer and Christmas fairs and afternoon teas. 

The Community Coffee Mornings run every Friday 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Further information

For more information on Dementia Forward or to find out about volunteering opportunities:

Call |  03300 578592 
email | or visit the website:

Do you have a community story you'd like to share?

There's so much amazing work going on across the East Riding organised by amazing grassroots volunteer-led groups It's important to spread the word about the brilliant things going on in our communities to inspire others to do the same and to celebrate how special these groups are to the communities that they support.

If you do have a story, Abi would love to meet you. To contact Abi, send through an email to:


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