Alzheimer’s Society is celebrating the thousands of supporters who, by giving the gift of their time for fundraising, campaigning and volunteering continue to help the charity and have united against dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society is a registered charity with a vision of a world without dementia. Their mission is to achieve this vision while offering support to all those affected; they believe people with dementia should be supported, accepted and able to live in communities, without fear or prejudice.
Alzheimer’s Society reports that, in the UK alone, there are over 850,000 people living with dementia and that someone develops dementia every 3 minutes. It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025, will rise to over 1 million.
The need to unite in the fight against dementia has never been more pressing. This year, volunteers and supporters have campaigned with Alzheimer’s Society in a number of ways, including joining fundraising events, writing to a local MP or volunteering with Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side service.
Side by Side is a new service that helps people with dementia to keep doing the things they love and get out and about with the support of a volunteer. This extra support can make it easier for people with dementia, who might sometimes feel isolated or find it difficult to leave their homes, to do things we might take for granted. It enables people to feel part of, and enjoy, their local community. The service is highly flexible and built around the individual and their needs.
John, who has dementia, was partnered with Side by Side volunteer, Marc. In a thank you letter to Marc, John wrote:
‘Since we first met in March 2017 and started going out on our weekly trips, the difference you have made to my life is unimaginable. Nothing is too much trouble for you. You are always reliable, asking me where I want to go or what I want to do – and if I don’t know, then we go on a mystery tour. We always seem to have good weather when we go out and there is always a cup of tea and cake before we go home, if not a good bacon sandwich or a sausage roll! I would like to thank you for making this unimaginable difference to my life, for giving up your time for someone like me. I really look forward to our trips out.’
A £1.35 million award from Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery will help to continue Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side service so that more people in the UK with dementia can be supported to live the lives they want.
The rewards of volunteering are there to see so if you are interested in becoming a Side by Side volunteer, or if you would like to access the service, visit: www.alzheimers.org.uk/sidebyside or call 0330 333 0804. Or, if you can give an hour, a day, or more to volunteer, fundraise or campaign with Alzheimer’s Society in other ways, your amazing actions could make a difference to someone affected by dementia.
Visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/getinvolved to find out how you can act to unite against dementia.