Berwick and District Friends of Dementia Active Mind and Body is a cross border support group for people with mild to moderate dementia and their carers, living within a 25 mile radius of Berwick upon Tweed.
"We don’t receive funding from any public bodies so we rely on the generosity of the people in and around Berwick upon Tweed."
We are a small, friendly group initially started three years ago by the Alzheimer’s Society to run a weekly support and social group for people with dementia – and their carers. Tragically we lost funding in April 2014, however our dedicated members voted to continue independently as an unincorporated charitable organisation. As we don’t receive funding from any public bodies, we rely on the generosity of the people in and around Berwick upon Tweed. When I heard about the Community Awards, I was so excited at the prospect of what we would be able to achieve with £5,000.
We were incredibly disappointed when we heard that we had just missed out on a Community Award in the public vote. So when we found out the Foundation Advisory Panel had chosen us for a special award, created from the remaining funds from last year, we were literally over the moon!
"The award came as a huge surprise and a tremendous boost."
So the award came as a huge surprise and a tremendous boost for us all. There is a dearth of dementia specific support groups in and around Berwick aimed at those living with early to moderate stage dementia, and general public transport isn’t always an option.
The Community Award will allow us to help those vulnerable people, attend sessions through use of community transport and volunteer drivers, offering much more flexibility and scope. This is really important because we’re located in a remote rural area and so operate an open door policy, welcoming people from both sides of the English / Scottish border.
"The award will help us to create a stimulating environment for people with dementia and their carers through increased mental and physical wellbeing, enriching lives and strengthening relationships."
In addition, the award means we can introduce a range of dementia-friendly activities such as art and craft sessions as well as music and movement, all known to be beneficial to dementia sufferers.