Hearts of gold: Alzheimer’s Society turns 40

As the Society marks 40 years, we meet some of the incredible fundraisers who make our work possible.

Read this story in Welsh

Since 1979, Alzheimer’s Society has fought to bring dementia out of the shadows, and we want everyone to unite with us to create a better future.

Of course, we wouldn’t be where we are today – and couldn’t plan for tomorrow – without our amazing fundraisers. 

Mark Richards, who leads an inspiring volunteer fundraising group in south Wales, says, ‘Most people these days know somebody who has the condition or is affected by it. I’m amazed there’s not greater public money going into it.’ 

‘By the end of 2019, we’d like to have raised £40,000 for the Society’s 40th year,’ says Mark.

The group raised over £28,500 last year by involving their community in Radyr and Morganstown, Cardiff. 

‘By the end of 2019, we’d like to have raised £40,000 for the Society’s 40th year,’ says Mark. ‘I’m confident we’ll go past that.’

Radyr and Morganstown volunteer fundraising group

Radyr and Morganstown volunteer fundraising group

Involving everyone 

After his wife, Heather, was diagnosed with dementia five years ago, at the age of only 53, Mark was determined to do something positive. 

‘Initially we were involved in various research projects,’ he says, ‘but as her condition advanced she was less able to participate, and I became involved in the newly formed community fundraising group.’ 

Involving everyone in their networks has been a key to success. 

Supported by Society staff, the group meets every couple of months to organise anything from a coffee morning or beetle drive to a brass band or choir concert. Involving everyone in their networks has been a key to success. 

‘We encourage others – schools, Scouts, Women’s Institute – to fundraise for us.’ 

Heather now lives in a care home, but Mark feels far from alone in the group. 

‘Many of us have relatives who are living with the condition, or have lost someone through dementia.’

Fundraising in your area

Take part in an event or organise your own with support from your local community fundraiser.

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As much as I can 

Sue Lewis’s motivations are just as personal – now 67, she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2016. 

‘I know there’s no way of finding a cure in my lifetime,’ she says, ‘but for the younger people, I want to try and raise as much as I can.’ 

Sue describes herself as the ‘mouthpiece’ of a fundraising group in Caerphilly, which grew out of a panel of people affected by dementia. 

‘I know there’s no way of finding a cure in my lifetime, but for the younger people, I want to try and raise as much as I can,’ says Sue.

‘I’m very passionate about it,’ says Sue. ‘I ought to have a soapbox to raise the importance of fundraising!’ 

The group makes teddy bears and knits flowers to sell, and Sue has also raised over £2,000 through two shows at social clubs. These featured tribute acts and a comedian, and Sue is impressed by everyone’s level of support. 

‘We’re aiming to do three events a year – the artists are willing to give up their time, they don’t want paying. It’s wonderful for them to do that.’ 

‘They’re worth their weight in gold. They’re creating a long-term legacy and making a difference for generations to come,’ says Natalie. 

Natalie de Maid, our Regional Community Fundraising Manager in Wales, has no doubts about the impact that Sue and Mark’s groups are having. 

‘They’re worth their weight in gold. They’re creating a long-term legacy and making a difference for generations to come.

Dementia together magazine: Apr/May 19

Dementia together magazine is for everyone in the dementia movement and anyone affected by the condition.
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Dementia together magazine is for everyone in the dementia movement and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now
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