Dr David Crichton’s column: Doncaster dementia charity launches two grant schemes

This is a transcript of my MyView column that was published in the Doncaster Star on Monday 28 May, 2018.

We’ve just celebrated Dementia Awareness Week in Doncaster and I’m delighted to report that a local good cause used this annual event to launch two new grant schemes that are set to make life a little easier for local people who have dementia, and their carers.

DonMentia, which was founded six years ago by former Doncaster teacher Eileen Harrington, is a registered charity that proudly spends the funds it raises on Doncaster people who need a bit of extra help.

The charity’s trustees have decided to award small grants to local people who have a dementia diagnosis – or their carer(s) – to contribute towards the cost of paying for:

  • Short breaks or holidays.
  • Items, such as mobility aids or other equipment that could improve their general quality of life.

DonMentia will cover up to 50 per cent of the total cost of the request to a maximum of £500 per application. The trustees set this figure to enable more Doncaster people to benefit from the schemes.

Each application will be assessed on an individual basis at DonMentia’s monthly trustees’ meeting.

Eileen Harrington, centre, is pictured with DonMentia trustees Wayne Goddard and Michele Clarke at last week’s launch of the grant schemes.

You can find details of how to make an application on the DonMentia website: www.donmentia.org

Dementia is a life changing illness and it can be challenging to live with, not only for those who have the diagnosis but for their loved ones as well. So anything that can help towards providing a welcome rest, or will make life a bit easier, will be greatly appreciated I’m sure.

Figures newly released last month reveal that some 2,592 Doncaster people aged over 65 are currently diagnosed with dementia.

But for a borough our size – with a population in excess of  300,000 – we would statistically expect around 3,660 people aged over 65 category to have dementia.

So we currently think that we have identified and diagnosed around 71 per cent of the Doncaster over 65s population who have dementia. But we estimate a further 1,070 local people in this age category have have yet to be diagnosed.

As a GP, I know the sooner that someone is diagnosed, the better the opportunity they have to live well with dementia.

That’s why awareness raising is so important. Local organisations, businesses and charities like DonMentia are working very hard to help Doncaster become a dementia friendly borough.

Because the more we know and understand, the more we can do to help people stay independent.​