Stray Ferret Christmas Appeal 2023: Combating the isolation of dementia
Nov 15, 2023

This year’s Stray Ferret Christmas Appeal is to raise £30,000 for a much-needed minibus for Dementia Forward in the Harrogate district. 

The appeal is kindly sponsored by Vida Healthcare.

Please give generously to support local people and their families living with dementia. Let’s not forget who needs our help this Christmas.

Today, Flora spoke to members of the Hub Club – one of the charity’s day services.

People living with dementia are slowly being robbed of their former lives and can often feel lonely and isolated.

It’s a disease that makes people feel misunderstood and invisible, but Dementia Forward works tirelessly to combat that. The charity’s Hub Club provides people with a safe place and good company it makes those living with this life-changing illness feel seen.

“It’s a lovely atmosphere.

“I like seeing everybody and having a laugh.”

This is how one member, 91-year-old Mary, described the Hub Club.

After the minibus drops them off, the group start their day with a quiz, followed by coffee and cake.

The group are made to feel relaxed and comfortable and have so many activities to enjoy. Some do crosswords and puzzles, some enjoy drawing and music, and some even tackle 1000-piece jigsaws. People laugh and chat they’re friends.

The days are tailored to the needs and interests of the members staff even curate playlists of the members’ favourite songs.

Another member, David, spends his morning reading the paper accompanied by a playlist of his favourite 1950s songs including Gracie Fields. He said:

“It’s just nice to get out of the house for a few hours and I’ve made friends here.”

It’s a place where people can feel heard and understood.

For three days a week, these people can temporarily escape from the disease they’re living with.

One carer told the Dementia Forward team:

“You understand better than most what we deal with.

“Being able to drop my wife off at the Hub Club this morning and sit here with my feet up, feeling confident that she is being properly looked after, is brilliant.”

But the reality is, the members of the Hub Club are fighting a losing battle with dementia. Dementia Forward eases the pain as much as it can – but can only do so with the help of charitable donations.

Every donation to our campaign will go directly to Dementia Forward, helping us hit our £30,000 target to buy the charity a new minibus and bettering the lives of those living with dementia and the people around them.

Dementia Forward’s current bus is old and urgently needs to be replaced. The charity would seriously struggle to afford a new one, which is why they need your help to keep this vital service going. Without it, many people living with dementia wouldn’t be able to access the help and support they need. 

Click here to donate whatever you can – you never know when you, your family or a friend may be in need of Dementia Forward’s help too.

Thank you.

The NHS found that one in 11 people over the age of 65 in the UK are living with dementia. If you need urgent help or have a dementia-related enquiry, call 0330 057 8592 to speak to a helpline adviser.


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