St Aidan’s: tackling dementia in Sunderland

Many of us know people who are affected by dementia, or people caring for relatives affected by dementia.  However, it is in truth an umbrella term and can affect people in different ways.  Whether physical, emotional or psychological, the impact of dementia is profound and changes the practicalities of everyday life.

Alzheimer’s Society reports that, as of 2014, there were over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.  At The Health Lottery, we’re proud that funds raised through our games have supported those living with dementia.  In Sunderland, St Aidan's Community Group were awarded £27,894 by People’s Health Trust for a two-year project.  This grant used funds raised by Health Lottery North East & Cumbria.

The project is intended to support isolated older and/or disabled adults, or those with the onset of dementia.  Based in the village of New Herrington, it will support those people by providing a weekly activities social group.  Activities include seated exercise, singing, crafts and trips.  For those who are physically impaired, or otherwise find it difficult to travel, a local community transport scheme helps ensure people are able to attend.

We at The Health Lottery are particularly pleased that participants are significantly involved in running the group.  This is vital to ensuring the requirements of those participants are fully met.  This process includes informal reviews at each session, as well as monthly mini- steering groups.

Crucially, regular attendance reduces loneliness and encourages participants to maintain friendships.  This in turn helps them to gain in confidence and self-esteem.

Health Lottery North East & Cumbria has raised over £6 million to support good causes like this one.  Every Health Lottery ticket purchased in March 2020 will help raise even more funds for that region.

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