West Suffolk Hospital dementia campaign triples its £25,000 fundraising target
- Credit: Archant
A fundraising campaign to enhance the support offered to patients with dementia at West Suffolk Hospital has now raised a staggering £75,000 in 18 months – three times its original target.
The Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign, run by West Suffolk Hospital Charity in partnership with the East Anglian Daily Times and Mercury newspapers, has received widespread support since its launch in March 2014.
The initial idea was to raise £25,000 to purchase reminiscence materials, help kit out a day room and create a memory walk to provide a calm and comforting area for patients with dementia.
In addition, it was hoped that the publicity surrounding the campaign would raise awareness of the condition and challenge people’s perception of it.
The extra money raised will now enable the hospital’s dementia team to identify and convert more hospital bays and wards to “dementia-friendly” areas.
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The jewel in the crown will be the £25,000 dementia memory walk in the hospital’s corridors. The first phase of work to build the walk, which is expected to be one of the longest in the UK, began in April. The project will see local groups and organisations donate iconic images of West Suffolk landmarks.
Julie Fountain, dementia lead at West Suffolk, said: “This is a crucial campaign at the hospital for so many reasons and the fact we have raised over and above our initial aim means we can do so much more to support patients with dementia and their families.
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“We have already converted a day room on (ward) G4 and are busy planning the dementia memory walk. The walk will give patients an opportunity for reminiscence time away from the wards, in turn boosting their wellbeing and making their admission easier.
“We will now be using extra funds to make further improvements to a number of clinical environments. Our first step is to make one of the side rooms on F12 dementia friendly.”
The money has been raised via a series of initiatives by groups and individuals ranging from a skydive, a charity football match featuring Ipswich Town FC legends and an ‘It’s a Knockout’ style event, to supermarket bag packs and coffee mornings.
Dave Gooderham, fundraising manager at West Suffolk Hospital Charity, said no-one could have predicted the overwhelming response to the campaign.
He added: “We hoped the appeal would resonate with the local community and they have once again proved their generosity in droves.
“We would like to thank every single person who has fundraised and donated to the appeal. Every penny will make such a big difference.
“It may have started as a one-year appeal, but the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign will now always be an important part of the charity’s work.”
Editor of the EADT, Terry Hunt said: “Our readers always respond with huge generosity for a good cause, and this has certainly proved to be the case with the Forget-Me-Mot campaign. Thank you all so much - and please keep the money coming!’’
The Forget-Me-Not campaign continues to be supported by individuals, businesses and groups across the community. Anyone who would like to donate or find out more about how they could help can contact the charity’s fundraising team on 01284 712952 or email firstname.lastname@example.org