New dementia charity finds a home

A new dementia charity has risen from the ashes after dedicated volunteers refused to abandon their cause.

Sunday, 7th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th July 2019, 5:45 pm

Earlier this year the Alzheimer’s Society was forced to close their day unit on Hylton Road due to funding cuts. Users of the unit were devastated.

But the people running the unit were determined, even if they had to go it alone. They vowed to the Echo in March that they would simply not let matters slide.

They have now opened the Sunderland branch of North East Dementia Care on Springtide Cove on Dock Street in Roker, to provide temporary day care to dementia sufferers.

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The chair of the new charity is Sandra Falkner. She has been tirelessly devoted to helping sufferers and their carers since looking after her husband Billy, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his 50s and died of the disease four years ago, aged 67.

The Hylton Road unit had been a lifeline to Billy and many others, so Sandra is excited by the new venture, which is there for both sufferers and carers to meet others in similar situations.

She said: “They come and do activities. We’ve got loads of stuff in mind. We’re trying to set up a memories cafe, for both Alzheimer's sufferers and their carers. We have Musical Memories every other Thursday. We brought in a singer, Kayley Cares, and everybody absolutely loved her.

“We give some personal care too, such as picking people up from home and taking them back.

“We’re non-profit. All the money raised goes towards the care. We need more people to come and then we can take it from there. The money we have is what we have raised ourselves and we’re trying for more funding.

“Sunderland needs a place like this. We just want people to have a lovely time.

“People on benefits should phone social care at the council, or call us directly if they’re self funded.”

Sandra and her colleagues have previously run events and activities from the Fans Museum on North Bridge Street. They are now keen to welcome new people to their new home.

For more information, call 07703 299274, or visit North East Dementia Care’s Facebook page.