West Suffolk: Retirement fellowship gives £600 to Forget-Me-Not dementia appeal

The Suffolk West NHS Retirement Fellowship hand over a cheque to Maggie Woodhouse, dementia trainer,

The Suffolk West NHS Retirement Fellowship hand over a cheque to Maggie Woodhouse, dementia trainer, and Jan Bloomfield, director of workforce and communications at WSH for the Forget-Me-Not dementia appeal. - Credit: Archant

Members of a retirement fellowship have put their general knowledge to the test as part of a fundraising effort for West Suffolk Hospital’s dementia campaign.

The Forget-Me-Not appeal is being run in conjunction with the East Anglian Daily Times and its sister publication The Mercury to raise £25,000 to enhance facilities for dementia patients while they are staying on the hospital’s acute wards.

So far, 68% of the target has been collected with the total currently standing at just over £17,000.

The idea is to create a memory walk to provide a calm area for patients with dementia and to purchase reminiscence materials with some of the money.

The Suffolk West NHS Retirement Fellowship decided to throw its weight behind the campaign by taking part in fundraising events.

The group, which is open to anyone who worked in the NHS or its allied services, started in 2012 and has 92 members.

The fellowship organised a tombola stall at the hospital charity’s flagship fundraiser, It’s a Bury Knockout, in July and then followed it up with a Forget-Me-Not quiz night on July 17.

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This week, the group presented a cheque for £600 to dementia trainer Maggie Woodhouse and Jan Bloomfield, director of workforce and communications at West Suffolk.

Retirement Fellowship chair, Chris Harper, a semi-retired ward sister at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “None of us knows if we are going to get this condition and most of us know someone who has had dementia. It can be quite difficult and devastating for relatives as well.

“As former healthcare workers, we have all worked with dementia patients.

“We always have a charity of the year and because West Suffolk hospital is doing such great work with dementia, we decided we wanted to support the campaign, help raise awareness and make a difference.”

Dave Gooderham, the hospital’s fundraising manager, said: “I spoke to the fellowship when the campaign was launched and told them what we were trying to achieve.

“Since then, they have been very helpful in supporting us by joining in at the It’s a Bury Knockout and holding a quiz night.

“I am delighted by how the campaign has gone so far, and money such as this is greatly appreciated and will be put towards helping people with dementia at the hospital.”

This Saturday, Mildenhall Sainsbury’s will hold a book sale in store for the appeal from 9am until noon.

Individuals and organisations can donate to the appeal online at www.justgiving.com/forgetmenotcampaign or in person at any of The East Anglian Daily Times offices. Cheques should be made payable to Archant and marked on the back “Forget-Me-Not Appeal” and sent to The Bury St Edmunds Mercury, 11 Woolhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 1LA. Anyone who would like to know more about the campaign and how they can help can call Dave Gooderham on 01284 712952 or via email at dave.gooderham@wsh.nhs.uk