People from Oxfordshire with young onset dementia have found camaraderie through a cycling session.

The Bike and Banter sessions by Dementia Oxfordshire, a service provided by Age UK Oxfordshire with funding support from Oxfordshire County Council, welcome adults who have been diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65.

It supports them in staying active and independent on their bikes.

Councillor Tim Bearder, cabinet member for Adult Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council, said: "We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver social care support closer to home, enabling people to live well and independently within their own communities.

"It’s something we call The Oxfordshire Way.

"Dementia Oxfordshire’s Bike and Banter event is a great example of this in action, offering practical support as well as an opportunity to come together and share experiences with other people going through similar things."

As part of Dementia Action Week, 20 people from across the county took part in a morning of pedal power at the Horspath Athletics and Sports Ground in Oxford.

The cycling experts at CyclAbility, a not-for-profit community interest company, provided their expertise to train the group and help participants stay safe on their bicycles.

Lisa Inglis, a young onset dementia adviser, said: "When someone has a diagnosis of young onset dementia, they often think that they have to give up some of the things they really enjoy, but often that’s not the case.

"Cycling is such a big part of Oxford’s culture, and many of the people we support have enjoyed cycling for many years.

"CyclAbility’s expertise in making cycling safe and enjoyable in a managed environment is absolutely key, and we’re delighted to be working alongside them."

One of the participants, Des O’Sullivan found the Bike and Banter session to be a good opportunity to get back in the saddle.

Des said: "It was a great morning and thoroughly enjoyable."

In addition to the Bike and Banter events, the young onset dementia team at Dementia Oxfordshire coordinates various activities such as pub meet-ups, walking groups, outdoor games, and online support groups for families.

Dementia Oxfordshire’s young onset dementia advisers offer practical and emotional support and guidance not just about dementia, but also around financial and legal matters, employment, benefits, and planning for the future.