Much-needed relief for dementia carers

The Oxford Times: Allan Bishton, left, with his wife Anne and Rosewood Day Club organiser Graham Hooper. Picture:OX53076 Denis Kennedy Allan Bishton, left, with his wife Anne and Rosewood Day Club organiser Graham Hooper. Picture:OX53076 Denis Kennedy

A GROUP that offers a lifeline to those suffering from dementia is hoping Jubilee cash will help keep it afloat.

There are more than 7,500 people with dementia in Oxfordshire and this is set to rise to 8,600 by 2015.

Daybreak Oxford runs day clubs that enable around 150 dementia sufferers a week to enjoy enjoyable and stimulating activities, while their often exhausted carers catch up on their own lives.

But with £40,000 a year to find to keep their three clubs going, Daybreak has to fight to survive.

It is hoping to become one of the good causes to benefit from the Jubilee Fund for Oxfordshire.

The fund was set up in January by the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) to mark the Queen’s Jubilee Year by helping to fund the many charities and good causes struggling in the economic downturn.

Individuals, schools, clubs and businesses are being asked to make a difference in their communities by donating money to the fund, which will be given in a series of £1,000 grants to charities.

Andy Buckland, 59, is director of Daybreak Oxford.

He said: “The county council provide a portion of our funding each year, but we still have to find £45,000 to fund our clubs and transport and, as you can imagine, this is quite a huge task.

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“We apply for grants and trusts and rely heavily on fundraisers for help, but a grant like those being given by the Jubilee Fund would make a great difference to us.”

Daybreak runs the Rosewood Club in Blackbird Leys, Lilacs in Kidlington and Limes in North Oxford.

Mr Buckland said: “We offer a stimulating and enjoyable day out for the person with dementia, with lots of games and activities in a very sociable and friendly environment.

“But equally important is the respite that carers receive whilst the person they care for is with us.

“Daybreak clubs can act as an antidote to the loneliness, isolation and despair that may accompany this distressing condition.

“It helps keep families together and enable our members to live at home for longer.”

Allan Bishton, 79, from Greater Leys, was diagnosed with dementia three years ago.

His wife and carer Anne, 76, calls Daybreak a “lifeline”.

She said: “Allan can no longer speak or read and while he is continent and able to wash himself, he needs my constant attention.

“The Daybreak club is my only real break in the week. I know Allan is somewhere safe and the people there are so kind.”

Just £10 pays for someone to attend Daybreak for one day and enjoy a hot meal and £500 runs a Daybreak club for a whole day, while £1,500 is enough to run a carers support group for one year.

To donate to the Jubilee Fund or to volunteer to fundraise on its behalf, email: jubilee@oxfordshire.org , call 01865 798666, or drop into OCF’s offices at 3 Woodins Way, Oxford. Donate by phone by texting JBLE 12 to 70070.

To apply for Jubilee Fund cash, visit: oxfordshire.org

For details on Daybreak, contact 01865 776744

Comments (1)

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9:26am Thu 19 Jul 12

Myron Blatz says...

the unsung heroes and heroines of modern day society, where dementia now affects so many people (of all ages not just the very old) and which both national and local government should be doing more to help. Maybe Cllr Tanner could do a sponsored swim at Temple Cowley swimming pool for the benefit of dementia sufferers and carers in Oxford ........
the unsung heroes and heroines of modern day society, where dementia now affects so many people (of all ages not just the very old) and which both national and local government should be doing more to help. Maybe Cllr Tanner could do a sponsored swim at Temple Cowley swimming pool for the benefit of dementia sufferers and carers in Oxford ........ Myron Blatz
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