Scotmid Co-operative held a wonderful vintage tea party – complete with bunting and cakes – at the East Calder Dementia Café with our 2015/16 charity partners, Alzheimer Scotland and Alzheimer’s Society, to celebrate raising over £132,000 just six months in.
Over the last 6 months, Scotmid Co-operative staff, members and customers from the Lake District to the Black Isle, and our businesses – Scotmid, Lakes and Dales, Semichem, funerals and property – have been busy challenging dementia by taking part in a variety of quirky fundraising activities including sponsored head shaves, extreme haircuts, fancy dress days, race nights, coffee mornings and store raffles. All monies raised will go towards funding specialist Dementia Advisors as well as supporting a wide range of vital community initiatives such as the Dementia Cafes, singing groups, allotments and reminiscence projects up and down the country.
The monthly ‘Forget me Not’ café, one of many supported by Alzheimer Scotland and Alzheimer’s Society across the UK, provides a relaxed and friendly meeting place for people with dementia and those who care for them. Nobody should face dementia alone and dementia cafes offer a vital form of support for many people living with the illness and their families.
Aileen Eland, Practice Team Leader, Alzheimer Scotland Edinburgh and West Lothian Services, said: “Our Dementia Cafés are designed to support those people living with a dementia diagnosis who may be experiencing a whole range of emotions. I am delighted that Scotmid Co-operative chose to celebrate their half year milestone with the volunteers and residents from our East Calder Dementia Café. The dementia café offers a real lifeline to residents, offering a meeting place to talk about dementia and enjoy a cup of tea and cake.”
With over 90,000 people affected by dementia in Scotland and the number set to double in a generation, the partnership between Scotmid Co-operative, Alzheimer Scotland and Alzheimer’s Society aims to challenge perceptions about people living with dementia to help transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition, as well as raising vital funds for community services.
Catherine Vasu (26) from Mid Calder, works in the local Scotmid Co-operative and has also volunteers at the Alzheimer Scotland’s East Calder Dementia Café, said: “I heard that the dementia café was looking for volunteers so I put my name forward. We need to look after and respect our older generation, so I’m just doing what I can do help out. I enjoy helping out in the café and can see the difference it makes to people’s lives. There are lots and chats and laughter and always a cup of tea on the go.”
Nan Powles (81) from Mid Calder, who volunteers as a coordinator at the East Calder Dementia Café, added: “We can have upward of 12 local residents coming along to our dementia café. They all really look forward to it and enjoy talking to everyone who comes along and helps out. The café helps to bring them out and they know we’re all here if they need any advice or support. As well as tea and cake, we put on games and activities for the group including bingo, quizzes, making Christmas decorations and regular sing-a-longs. “
Scotmid Co-operative is committed to creating new dementia friendly communities to help create a positive shopping environment for customers with dementia and have signed up to take part in a Dementia Friends training programme over the year. With staff members up and down the country taking part in information sessions and visiting the Memory Bus to learn more about the initiative, the business is well on the way to achieving dementia friendly status.
If you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in your area call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Helpline on 0808 808 3000. For more information about the partnership between Scotmid Co-operative, Alzheimer Scotland and Alzheimer’s Society, visit http://www.alzscot.org/scotmid