What a difference a few years can make - this month Dementia Forward is celebrating their sixth birthday, and as a relatively new charity compared to some other more long-standing ones in our district, the impact of their services has already been enormous.
Now supporting hundreds of families affected by dementia, the charity has rapidly grown to offer all kinds of different support groups and services - including wellbeing cafés, singing groups and a helpline. Dementia Forward has become more and more embedded in the day-to-day life of our communities, too - building up strong relationships with community groups and churches to inspire others to take a lead on projects.
And a prime example of this is Pateley Bridge working hard to become a dementia friendly town as a result of talks between Nidderdale Chamber of Trade and Dementia Forward. In their first year, Dementia Forward supported 200 families - now, the charity supports more than 2000.
Dementia Forward’s Chief Executive Officer Jill Quinn, said: “Six years ago we started with a small plan, and we could never have imagined how needed and how successful Dementia Forward would be. We are blessed with a passionate staff and volunteer team and a strong trustee board ready for the challenges ahead.
“We are a small local charity doing a big job with quite limited resources. The awareness around dementia is growing every day. And with the right support, people can live well. We want to make sure that people don’t wait for the crisis or wait for it to go wrong, it’s important to get the support right in the first instance.”
Building on their raft of services, Dementia Forward is also launching a new day service called My Time, in partnership with Over the Rainbow care. Jill said: “We are so grateful for all the community support we have had and we continue to need that.
"At a time when our colleagues in Health and social care at struggling to keep up with demand on low resources we hope we can continue to plug some of the gaps.”
To find out more about supporting the charity as an individual, or if you are a business that might be able to help with fundraising, visit: www.dementiaforward.org.uk/how-you-can-help