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Harrogate-based dementia charity given £240,000 of National Lottery funding

Dementia Forward has been given almost £240,000 of National Lottery funding to continue providing services to people with young onset dementia.

Harrogate-based dementia charity given £240,000 of National Lottery funding

A Harrogate-based charity can continue improving the lives of those affected by young onset dementia, thanks to a National Lottery cash injection of almost £240,000.

Dementia Forward is one of 300 charities and community groups across Yorkshire and Humberside which has been awarded a share of more than £13 million by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, over the last three months.

Young onset dementia is rare and occurs in people aged between 35 to 65. There is limited support for those with the illness, resulting in feelings of isolation, loneliness and a decline in mental health and wellbeing – all of which can potentially lead to the progression of dementia.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, Dementia Forward, based in Harrogate, is addressing this through its weekly wellbeing group, Time Out Together, which helps people connect with their peers and join age-appropriate activities.

Operating in Scarborough, York and Harrogate, the charity takes people out for the day to experience free activities.

In the past this has included visiting local green spaces such as nature reserves and Yorkshire Lavender, museums and local galleries and physical activities such as golf or bowling.

Mike, aged 67 from Harrogate, has been living with Alzheimer’s disease – a form of dementia - for several years and now attends the Time Out Together sessions.

Poor short-term memory, concept of time, sense of direction and disorientation are just a few of the symptoms Mike is challenged with daily due to the disease.

This has taken a toll on his mental wellbeing and Mike’s now unable to do tasks he once enjoyed, such as cooking.

Trish, Mike’s wife and carer, said:

"Time Out Together brings a friendly bunch of people together who are in Mike’s situation. It’s given him routine and it’s been great for his confidence and self-esteem.

"He’s doing things he wouldn’t normally be able to do and financially we wouldn’t be able to afford these activities if it weren’t for Dementia Forward and National Lottery funding.”

“Support for those with the condition and their loved ones is so underfunded. You’re very much left on your own. We’re lucky to have Dementia Forward - getting this grant is wonderful and is so deserved.”

With its National Lottery award, the charity is also working closely with care homes and agencies to adapt services for younger people, raise awareness of the condition and educate care staff.

Debby Lennox, Community Liaison Manager at Dementia Forward, said:

“We are overjoyed that The National Lottery Community Fund has chosen to fund our Time Out Together groups for a further three years.

“The real testament to the success of this project and the need for it to continue, is the difference that it is making to the people we support and their families – it truly is life changing.

"We are so grateful to every single National Lottery player. You can rest assured that your money will be well spent and fully appreciated.”

The National Lottery Community Fund has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.

Joe Dobson, Head of Funding for Yorkshire and Humberside at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“We’re delighted that local groups are using our funding to strengthen communities and improve lives in our region.

"Their passion, creativity and commitment are making a real difference to local people’s lives, and this deserves recognition.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of National Lottery players, our ambition is to invest most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination – and we welcome new applications that will help us respond to the diverse needs of different communities.”

The National Lottery Community Fund will distribute at least £4 billion by 2030, supporting activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable. See its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’ to find out more.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk    

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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