A DEMENTIA charity is making an appeal for extra investment to keep vital services going as its AGM approaches.
Bosses at Action on Dementia Sunderland are set to outline how pilot schemes for people with the condition and their carers desperately need funding to become on-going services at the event later this month.
The organisation, which is run by volunteers, needs to find financial support to fill gaps in service provision throughout the city.
It is estimated that there are more than 3,300 people currently living in Sunderland with the condition, many of whom are as yet undiagnosed.
Two schemes created by the group have been running during the past year, providing support for carers as well as helping people with dementia but funding for the schemes is due to run out later this year.
Chairman Ernie Thompson will tell the charity’s Annual General Meeting later this month that he remains optimistic that the pilot schemes will become regular services for Wearsiders affected by the illness. He said: “We’re like all charities at the moment, where funding is very tight.
“But I’m sure we will be able to find the funding because they have proved to be very successful.”
Action on Dementia Sunderland currently employs one part-time development worker, who has been supporting the families of dementia patients in Sunderland Royal Hospital.
A second part-time support worker was taken on this year to offer a befriending service to the patients with dementia
In addition, a home-visiting befriending service is being provided to support both the person with dementia and their carers.
Mr Thompson added: “We secured funding for the extra part-time worker to offer these services, which have been very warmly welcomed.
“Being able to talk to someone who understands dementia can be of great benefit to families who have to deal with this heartbreaking condition on a daily basis.
“There’s a real need to keep offering these services, and we will be doing all we can to secure that funding.”
The pilot scheme for patients has seen an expert dementia carer help ward staff settle people with the condition when they need a hospital stay.
“Every penny we raise stays within the City of Sunderland, and I will be outlining how we are planning for the future at the annual general meeting,” said Mr Thompson.
Dr Paul Donaghy, a researcher based at Newcastle University, will be one of the speakers at the AGM, where he will give an update on progress in research.
The AGM will be held at The Place, in Sunniside, on Tuesday, September 24, from 2pm and includes free refreshments.
For further information, go to www.actionondementiasunderland.co.uk or call 521 1438.