Grant edges Admiral Nurse appeal closer to target

Cheque recipients gather before the annual Sidmouth town council meeting and grant presentation. Ref

Cheque recipients gather before the annual Sidmouth town council meeting and grant presentation. Ref shs 17-16AW 4574. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Trustees at the Sid Valley Memory Café say the area’s first Admiral Nurse is edging closer to becoming a reality thanks to the support of the local community.

The charity this week accepted £10,000 from a bequest fund controlled by Sidmouth Town Council. The council has also pledged £25,000 towards the project over the next five years – to keep the nurse when one is appointed.

The money was handed over at the council’s annual town assembly on Monday, taking the appeal over the £90,000 mark. The target is £100,000.

Memory café trustee Adrian Ford told councillors the Sid Valley was in ‘desperate need’ of a dementia specialist, as the condition affected up to 10 per cent of the population.

He said: “They [Admiral Nurses] support families, not only the person living with dementia, but the whole family throughout the dementia journey, from diagnosis right to the end.”

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Mr Ford described the nurse as a ‘safety net’ for families and praised the involvement of the local community.

He added: “It’s [donations] come from the community here. It’s come from individuals. It’s come from organisations and it’s come from the town council. We have been very lucky the town council has been a big supporter of the memory café since we started, and a huge supporter of our Admiral Nurse Campaign. The grant it has given us is really going to make an Admiral Nurse a reality this year.”

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Rachel Johnstone, memory café chairman, said the nurse would guide carers through ‘complex times’.

She added: “Quite often, the most painful effect of dementia is loneliness. It is a frightening diagnosis to receive.”

Duncan Watt, the memory café’s chairman of trustees, said the charity needs to raise £50,000 a year to continue to support families in future. He added: “This is not a campaign that is a one-off - it’s an ongoing thing that we believe is necessary.

“It’s worth remembering that, sadly, dementia is the final act for many people here in Sidmouth and we are here to try and do something about it.”

Sidmouth Town Council handed out a total of £14,680 in grants to 26 groups on Monday. This included £1,000 each to 1st Sid Vale Scouts, Sidmouth Arboretum and Sidmouth Help Link.

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