23rd June 2020

Alzheimer’s Support has been awarded £20,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund to support its work over the next six months.  

The money is part of the Veterans Should Not Be Forgotten Fund and recognises the charity’s role in supporting former servicemen and women.

Nearly half of those helped have a service record or are married to someone who once served, including Sam, pictured above, a member of the charity's Sidmouth Street day club who served for many years in the Royal Air Force. The club is currently closed due to Covid-19 but Sam is still getting regular support from Alzheimer's Support.

The funds will help the charity as it repurposes services to reach those like Sam who cannot yet meet in person in community groups and day clubs. This includes the charity's new telephone service. It offers personalised advice, reassurance and practical support from specialist staff who know people well and was making more than 800 calls a week at the height of the pandemic.

The funds will also support the charity's music, movement and art groups which have moved from community halls across Wiltshire to online. The dedicated sessions – and support to access them – have been a lifeline people living with dementia and family carers who enjoy seeing familiar friendly faces as well as taking part in activities together. Members of the charity’s art groups meanwhile, are receiving fortnightly packs of materials and project ideas to complete at home.

Difficult days for people with dementia

CEO Babs Harris said: “The past few months have been a desperately difficult time for people living with dementia and their families who have had to cope without their usual support structures and routines in place.

"We have responded in every way we can think of to help people to stay connected with us, with others that they know well and to make sure they have the very best information and practical help. The future is still uncertain for many as lockdown starts to relax.”

Babs said the grant was a timely boost to the charity's finances. “We know the difference our support is making and yet we have been very hard hit financially with income reduced and fixed costs to meet. We are so grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for supporting us at this crucial time.”