Longhurst Group extra care schemes raise £1,000 in Dementia Awareness Week

Customers and colleagues at four of Longhurst Group’s extra care schemes raised more than £1,000 during the recent Dementia Awareness Week.

Fundraising events including raffles, afternoon tea and dementia awareness workshops were held as part of the week-long campaign at the end of last month.

Between them, The Spinney, Friary Court and The Pavilions in Peterborough and Beech Court in Littleport raised £1,005 for dementia charities.

Sarah McClatchey, Extra Care Scheme Manager at Friary Court, championed dementia awareness across all the schemes.

This allowed everyone an opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of dementia.

She said: “Here at Friary Court, we had a fundraising dementia awareness coffee morning but I was also involved with the other schemes championing dementia awareness as I currently deliver training to our colleagues about understanding a person living with dementia.

“Dementia is on the increase because people are living longer. If colleagues receive ongoing training, this has a positive impact on the care we provide to our customers.

“Whilst I was visiting other schemes during dementia awareness week, I was pleasantly surprised by those customers within our schemes that wanted to learn a little more about dementia and how they can help. 

“I shared my knowledge and understanding about dementia and how it affects the brain and discussed possible triggers as to why someone may behave the way in which they do.  I asked them to be mindful of their approach and tone of voice and just asked that they have patience and understanding for those living with dementia and if they were ever concerned about a person’s wellbeing to report it a member of staff.

“Our customers are proud to take part in any fundraising and we often have memorable moments and most of our discussions are around music and dance. 

“Stories are shared about times gone by and how things are different today.  Music is a wonderful therapy for everyone, in particular someone living with dementia. 

“Music can bring back special moments, happy or sad times.  Music and dance brings life, happiness and excitement to each individual.  We recently had an entertainer here and customers were still talking about it the next day.

“I am always proud of the customers and together every little amount raised for whatever cause can go a long way to helping others.”

Pauline Perry, Extra Care Scheme Manager at Beech Court, said her customers had helped to raise £381 for the cause.

She wanted to thank local shop owners who donated cakes and vouchers for their event.

She said: “The customers were enthusiastic and generous in donating money and gifts to the raffle.

“We believe it is very important to raise awareness of dementia and how to access assistance and advice. Also, events like these involve the local villagers and residents and helps in bringing them together.

“I’m extremely proud and happy to have been involved and working with such generous people.”

Angela McDougall, Extra Care Scheme Manager at The Spinney, added: “The customers are happy to get involved and give something back. They’re always very generous.

“Most of them feel very fortunate – even though they live with debilitating conditions and illness - and always support the events we organise.

“We had around 35 people attend our events and they were very well received.

“Everyone enjoyed the company and the chat – and of course the cake! We had brownies and cheesecake which went down a treat.

“We fundraise for the scheme throughout the year to spend on entertainment and trips for the customers, so anything they can give back to others perhaps less fortunate than themselves, they are happy to do.”

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