Older people living with dementia in Kensington & Chelsea will benefit from ground-breaking treatment thanks to a £30,000 grant to Age UK from London Freemasons.


The grant will sustain and expand Age UK Kensington & Chelsea’s Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) programme for individuals living with dementia, enabling them to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their carers.

MCST is a weekly one-to-two-hour-long programme for people living with mild to moderate dementia. Group members take part in meaningful and stimulating activities, proven to help maintain memory and mental function. The groups provide a fun, supportive environment where people can build new friendships, too.

With over 20 years of experience in delivering invaluable support services, Age UK Kensington & Chelsea is a key pillar of the community, offering a wide range of information, advice, health, wellbeing and social activities at local level. Recognising the growing prevalence of dementia, the organisation has focused on providing expert and tailored advice and support to those diagnosed with dementia and their dedicated carers.

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK will surpass one million by 2025, with over 3,000 individuals affected in Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster alone. By 2030, this figure is projected to rise to over 5,500. Unfortunately, the pandemic exacerbated the challenges faced by older people living with dementia, resulting in a decline in cognitive function, mental wellbeing, and physical health. Carers of individuals with dementia have also experienced increased pressures, with many struggling to cope.

Thanks to the generous support of London Freemasons, Age UK Kensington & Chelsea aims to support people living with dementia across two locations in the north and south of the Borough. Results from the pilot MCST programme indicate that it significantly contributes to maintaining wellbeing; including feelings, memory, and everyday life experiences that would typically decline over time for individuals with dementia who receive no intervention. The programme has consequently resulted in participants reporting a better quality of life.

The grant from London Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, funded by Freemasons, their families, and their friends from across England, Wales and the Channel Islands.

Michael Kings, Head of Dementia Services, Impact and Evaluation at Age UK Kensington & Chelsea said: “Thanks to the generous support of London Freemasons, we’re able to continue to support clients in our area who are diagnosed as living with early-stage dementia. Our clients and family carers are very grateful for the support and look forward to their weekly sessions. The group has seen a positive impact on its members and has meant a huge leap in confidence, engagement and participation in the wider community as a result.” 

Paul King from London Freemasons says, “I’m very pleased to be able to help Age UK, Kensington & Chelsea and support the important work they are doing in our community. The MCST programme is an important initiative that will provide much-needed support to older adults suffering from dementia.”

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 54 April 2024 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 54 here.