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Plea for continued support as third anniversary milestone reached

As it marks the third anniversary of its partnership with Central England Co-op, Dementia UK has called on the public for help as it faces increasing demand for its services at the same time as donations have dropped during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The partnership between Central England Co-op and Dementia UK has seen over £1.4 million raised and donated to the charity in the three years we have been working together and we have also stepped in to give additional support during these uncertain times.

However, Dementia UK urgently needs additional help to continue to provide the vital support it gives families affected by dementia through their Admiral Nurse service.

The charity’s Admiral Nurses work alongside families, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

The nurses work across a range of care settings within the community, care homes, hospitals and hospices, as well as on Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, which is available to anyone with any questions or concerns around dementia.

Like so many charities, it has seen a drop in donations as the usual avenues for fundraising have become increasingly closed off, while demand on its services and particularly its Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline have soared.

The Helpline supported 39% more people in April to July 2020 compared to the same period last year.

Susan Drayton, Clinical Lead of Dementia UK's Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, said: "Dementia UK's Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline has taken thousands of calls from carers and people with dementia with concerns related to the lockdown.

“Families have been increasingly isolated, with reduced support services, while dealing with the stress of trying to avoid the virus, now known to disproportionately affect people with dementia.

“As the lockdown eases, many families need support, particularly around what the changing guidance means for them and ultimately how to continue coping and caring in the future. Many family carers have also reported a rapid deterioration in those they care for, in addition to suffering from an emotional toll themselves.

“All of this means that our Helpline Nurses are working through one of the most challenging periods they've ever faced. We are so grateful to our partners at Central England Co-operative for their vital support, which allows us to be there for every family with dementia who needs us.”

At the onset of the pandemic in March, Central England Co-op made an immediate £25,000 donation to enable Dementia UK to fully staff their Helpline seven days a week and colleague fundraising efforts have continued at pace over the last few months.

Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “I have been astounded by the fantastic feats that colleagues, customers and members have gone to in order to raise money for Dementia UK during the three years we have been in partnership.

“Our colleagues continue to find new and creative ways to fundraise which reflects just how much this cause and the vital work they do has resonated. From the partnership we have seen just how important the work Dementia UK and its Admiral Nurse service do for families is and this has only become more apparent during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The whole charity sector has been severely affected by the pandemic and urgently needs support to help fill the void caused by the drop or indeed complete loss of certain fundraising streams whilst at the same time, seeing an increase in demand for these services.

“So, I would urge people, if they can, to do all they can to support Dementia UK whether through a simple donation or by taking part in some of the great fundraising events available in the coming weeks.”

Upcoming fundraising events that people can take part in include the ‘Walk 30 Miles in September’ challenge – details can be found at www.dementiauk.org/get-involved/events-and-fundraising/find-your-event/walking-and-trekking/walk-30-miles-in-september/

While this October people are being asked to ‘Raise Your Game for Dementia UK’, by getting together and playing the games they love to fundraise for Dementia UK and help provide more dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.

All the details about the Raise Your Game challenge can be found at https://www.dementiauk.org/get-involved/events-and-fundraising/raiseyourgame/

To make a donation to Dementia UK visit Central England Co-op’s charity Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/CentralEnglandCoop-supports-DUK

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