People diagnosed with dementia in Hull and the East Riding are set to enjoy a range of day trips thanks to a donation of more than £2,000.
Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group provides support for people diagnosed with the condition and their families, organising monthly social gatherings, singing, walking, community events, day trips, a luncheon club and workshops for carers.
Until now, day trips have had to be charged at full price. But £2,001.59 raised by staff at Shared Agenda and Citycare means various trips can be planned at a subsidised rate, bringing variety for group members and enhancing their social activities.
The staff spent a whole working day in Christmas fancy dress on December 4, including attending meetings and decorating health centre Christmas trees dressed as elves to raise the funds, gaining sponsorship from family, friends, colleagues and contacts.
June Cooke, founder of Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group, said trips to York Railway Museum and the Amy Johnson exhibition at Sewerby Hall, near Bridlington, are among the trips in the pipeline for the coming months thanks to the donation.
She said: “Going on trips creates a memory and an experience.
“Quite often, people with dementia forget the mundane, such as whether they have had a shower or something to eat that day. But if we take them somewhere exciting, or use a photo prompt, they will remember it more, so it’s important to give them a chance to have these experiences.
“We can support carers in helping them to do this, as going into a different environment can be quite scary, and it’s something they can do together, which is massively important.
“The staff at Shared Agenda and Citycare have done so well and the amount raised is amazing.
“It was totally out of the blue when they called to say they wanted to support us and we are so grateful for everything they have done.”
Dementia is common and about 800,000 people have been diagnosed with the condition in the UK.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia and the number of people diagnosed is expected to rise to about one million by 2021.
Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group, which meets on the second floor of 94 Alfred Gelder Street, Hull city centre, recently gained charitable status.
Monthly support groups run in east, west and central Hull, as well as Cottingham and Brough, ensuring Butterflies is as accessible as possible for everyone who needs it.
Jo Barnes, Chief Executive of Citycare and Managing Director of Shared Agenda, said the charity was chosen as some of the team members have family affected by dementia.
“It’s a cause which is really close to our hearts,” she said.
“We wanted to support a local charity which helps people with dementia and their carers, and Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group fits into that perfectly.
“It was great fun dressing up and everyone we came into contact with was really happy to support us by making a donation.
“We are delighted to hear the money will be put to such good use and make a difference by enabling members and their carers to enjoy the day trips. We hope everyone has a wonderful time.”
For more information about Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group, visit the charity’s new website at www.butterflies.org.uk