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Engage Foundation helps preserve precious memories for cognitively impaired

Posted in: Foundation Last updated: 24 Jul 2014

A community education unit in Lanarkshire, Scotland has received a £5,000 funding boost from the Engage Foundation. It will use the funding to create personalised digital archives that will improve the quality of life for sufferers of cognitive impairment and memory loss.

The Forget-me-not Alpha Community project offers support for people who are cognitively impaired, as well as those who have suffered strokes, MS, epilepsy and acquired brain damage. The £5,000 award from Engage Mutual will allow the project to buy the equipment it needs to create individual ‘forget-me-not’ books for those who use the Unit’s services. The books will be a digital archive of the person’s favourite music, photographs, anecdotes and happy memories, which they can use to remember, and share with their family and carers.

Engage Mutual customer, Maureen Flood, applied for the funding from the mutual’s Foundation which has set aside £1m as an exclusive benefit for its customers to make their lives and communities better. Although only Engage Mutual customers can nominate a community project for funding from the Engage Foundation, the public are encouraged to show their support via an online vote, with winning projects decided by the highest number of votes.

Maureen said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have received the award. We cannot thank Engage enough! We also need to say a great big thank you to the people of Cumbernauld for their votes. It’s been overwhelming the support we’ve received, from our local ASDA supermarket to the fantastic students at Cumbernauld College who were so keen to learn about the project. ”

Suzanne Watson, project manager at Alpha added: “We are so grateful to Engage Mutual for the support they’ve given us. The community award will allow us to help so improve the quality of so many lives, all of which are feeling the impact of cognitive impairment.

“Our funding has been under threat for a number of years and following 50 per cent cuts last year, we feared for its future. The community award money comes as a huge relief and will ensure the great work we do for our community continues.

“Not only will the ‘forget-me-not’ books offer a great opportunity for social interaction, they will also provide great contentment to people suffer from conditions such as dementia and brain damage. It will help them to preserve their identities for much longer and promote personal independence in people with both mental and physical disabilities.”

As a mutual organisation, Engage is owned by, and run for, its customers. The Engage Foundation was set up to provide customers like Maureen with personal grants and awards for community projects. Customers can apply to help what matters to them in their corner of the world (the communities in which they live).  All customers need to do to be considered, is apply. The funding pot is made possible due to the financial stability of the customer-owned organisation which provides life and health insurance, and a variety of savings products.

Anna Drabble, Head of Community at Engage Mutual said: “When we set up the Engage Foundation earlier on in the year we did so with one overriding objective: to enable customers to benefit from the financial success of their business.

“To be able to see a small amount of funding make such a personal difference to so many lives is incredible. Making things better for a sufferer of cognitive impairment also makes things better for their families and those around them.  We wish the Alpha Project all the best in their work to improve the quality of people’s lives. It’s a great example of what the Foundation is all about, because if something matters to our customers, it matters to us.”