THE votes are in and shoppers have decided to bring the Virtual Dementia Tour Bus back to Abergele.

During a six-month campaign to raise £3,420 for the bus’s first three-day visit last October, customers of Tesco on Market Street have been busy using the store’s Bags for Help scheme to secure another visit.

After receiving the most votes, and working closely with community champion Jan Williams, Dementia Friendly Abergele has been awarded the funds for another three days from Wednesday, April 10.

Lucie Williams, community relations and recruitment manager for Home Instead Senior Care, said: “To our amazement, Dementia Friendly Abergele received the most votes, which meant we had enough money to bring the Virtual Dementia Tour Bus back to Abergele. Yet another show of support from our community.”

The bus, which is one of only three in the world, simulates the experience of dementia through a cutting-edge simulation which recreates the physical effects of the disease.

Among the 108 people taking on the experience was David Jones, MP for Clwyd West.

Mr Jones said: “I participated in one of the sessions on the bus last year, and found it extremely helpful in gaining an insight into what it means to live with dementia. I very much hope that I will be able to attend another session when the bus visits in April.

“Anyone who visits the bus will gain an invaluable insight into what it means to live with the condition. They will understand how people with dementia react to situations that arise every day. They will become more tolerant and empathetic, and that can only be a good thing.

“Abergele, as a town, is doing a great deal to help improve the lives of people with dementia.”

Since the first visit in October, Llandudno Junction Tesco has followed suit, with the bus expected to return in March.

Ms Williams said: “Since we brought the bus to Abergele, local authorities have paid for the bus to come to Wrexham, Llandudno Junction and Llanrwst.

“We are thrilled that other towns are following our lead and that our work is inspiring them to be more Dementia Friendly. We are very fortune that we have massive support from the community of Abergele.”

Ms Williams is looking ahead for additional funding from the National Lottery and Gwynt y Mor Wind Farm as well as Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and housing to bring the bus to travel to other Dementia Friendly communities in North Wales.

To request a place on the bus in April, contact Lucie Williams via or call Home Instead Senior Care on 01745 772154.