Wetherby charity’s fundraising pledge to meet growing dementia demand

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A Wetherby older persons charity has pledged to put every penny it raises this year into expanding its support for those living with dementia and their carers following a surge in demand.

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) has already added a new team member to create extra capacity for its popular memory café- increasing the sessions it runs from two to three a month.

Now it plans to pour the money it receives from individual and corporate supporters during 2024 into expanding its support even further, after a major public consultation last year revealed three quarters of people think more local help is needed.

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Mark Dobson, Chief Operating Officer at WiSE, said: “We were so proud to restore our well-loved, much-needed memory café last year- but it’s clear from the consultation we carried out that the demand of services such as this is growing all the time.

WiSE Memory CafeWiSE Memory Cafe
WiSE Memory Cafe

“We’re always reliant on the generous support of our public and corporate fundraisers to allow us to extend our reach and this year we plan to put any further money we raise towards answering the call for greater dementia care.”

WiSE has a waiting list of people wishing to attend the dementia café, with capacity limited by the number of support workers available to support each session. Up to forty people living with dementia and their carers attend the events, which take place at St James’ Church in Wetherby and include arts, crafts, games and entertainment.

WiSE’s memory café supports those living with dementia and their carers by providing an appropriate setting to focus on clients’ wellbeing, with sessions facilitated by two professional members, alongside WiSE’s own trained volunteers. Support and advice is also offered to family carers to assist them in their day-to-day continuing and challenging caring role.

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WiSE is a registered charity organisation part funded by Leeds City Council. Its aim is to improve quality of life for the over 60s by providing community based activities, information, help and support.

A major annual consultation delivered by WiSE last year asked people to find out more about what people of all ages think about services in their community.

Mark has already kick-started the charity’s 2024 dementia services fundraising push, by pledging to run the Leeds 10km race.