Dr David Crichton’s blog: Let’s say thanks to our dementia carers

This is a transcript of my My View column that was published in the Doncaster Star on Monday 2 April, 2018.

Over 2,700 Doncaster people have been diagnosed with dementia but we know there are others in the borough who will have the disease but have not yet been given a diagnosis.

It’s a growing local issue for the NHS and Doncaster Council and, as people live longer, it becomes one that we can’t just manage on our own.

Public services like ours can do a lot but we rely on the help of the local community as well. There are many examples of people and organisations that are doing great work and we are keen to recognise them at an event next month.

The third annual Doncaster Dementia Awards will take place at a celebration tea party on Wednesday 23 May. But before then we need you to let us know about those who have gone the extra mile and deserve some recognition.

This year there are three awards to recognise the contribution that has been made by a: volunteer; group or organisation; and employee.

Award candidates can nominate themselves or have their name put forward by another person, which could be a family member, friend, colleague, or someone who just wants the work of others to be honoured.

You can make any number of nominations across the three categories. There will be a winner and up to two highly commended awards for each category.

One previous award winner is Eileen Harrington, who founded the DonMentia charity five years ago to help Doncaster people who have dementia and their carers.

Her husband – also called Don – died with dementia in 2008 after having the disease for nine years. Eileen has spent the last five years tirelessly fundraising thousands of pounds for DonMentia and many local people and carers have benefited from her work.

Eileen continues to add to her trophy collection and congratulations are in order as she has just picked up an international award at what is known as the Olympic Games of marmalade making. She has just beaten off thousands of competitors to earn a bronze certificate for her Seville orange speciality at this year’s World’s Original Marmalade Awards, held in Cumbria.

Eileen Harrington with a jar of her her award-winning marmalade

The judges praised its good flavour.

Eileen, pictured, has been making her delicious preserve for the past five years, which she sells for £2.50 a jar to raise funds for DonMentia.

This year she has produced well over 300lbs of Seville – which are selling well at various shops and other outlets in Doncaster and should raise £750.

Eileen is one of many great Doncaster people and organisations who are helping those local people and families who are touched by dementia. Please take time to show them that we value their work by making a nomination

The closing date for nominations is Friday 27 April. You can find all the details and an entry form at https://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/category/news/. Or you can ring Lucie Waugh at Doncaster Council on 01302 862147.

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