Great Britain

Funeral director funds dementia support to thank people who helped in its own time of crisis

A KEIGHLEY undertakers' has made a donation to 'pay forward' for the generosity of people who helped with its shortage of PPE equipment.

David Gallagher Funeral Directors gave £500 to Dementia Friendly Keighley to acknowledge the wide support it had received in recent weeks.

Adele Gallagher, from the family firm, said that in April it struggled to purchase protective equipment as stocks diminished during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: "A Facebook plea for contacts and suppliers found us being showered with not only offers of how to order PPE but donations of face masks, hand sanitiser, disposable coveralls and hand-made scrubs.

"Individuals and companies really came to our rescue and we will never forget their kindness. To show our gratitude we have chosen to donate to a charity that means a lot to us as a family and which offers us great support.

"Dementia Friendly Keighley has become much more to us than simply a local charity. They are making a huge difference to our community and to us personally."

Adele said she hoped the donation would help DFK during the lockdown, when fundraising events had been cancelled yet vulnerable people still needed help.

She added: "This unsettled time has truly brought our community together, and if we could all ‘pay it forward’ following the kindness of others, we will continue to strengthen our town.”

DFK treasurer Maggie Marsden said the swell of support shown by local people for each other had been "little short of inspiring" over the past weeks.

She said: "It seems one kindness leads to another and then another.

"There is much speculation about what the world will look like when we emerge from the current restrictions, but let’s hope that the kindness and community spirit we have shown towards each other survive long into the future.”

Jan Smithies. Chairman of DFK, said the donation from Gallagher's could not have come at a better time, because it had lost one of its regular source of income through ‘In Memoria’ donations.

She said: "These collections, usually funerals, are from family and friends of someone who has died, and who may have had a link to either our work in the town specifically, or dementia generally.

"Currently funerals are very limited in size and collections are much reduced due to the difficulty of managing this safely."

“It is a difficult time for all of us at the moment, but people living with dementia face particular challenges, as do those caring for them.

Of course Families of those who now live in residential care homes also have their own worries and concerns. The high levels of virus reported in those settings, and relatives being unable to visit bring their own anxieties.

"We offer support to all people affected by dementia. The £500 donation from Adele and her company will be put to very good use, helping us keep our helpline running.

"It will also help us fund the extension of our service which includes delivering activity resources and help sheets to people in their own homes."

"We are aware that quite a lot of people we support do not have access to the internet. This means they are unable to access the helpful information we regularly post on our social media sites.

"Delivering information sheets to people’s homes in easy read accessible formats is proving very popular and has shown us a new way in which we can deliver our services during these very strange and challenging times.”

Dementia Friendly Keighley's helpline is on 07452 773788 between 10am and 2pm any day. They can leave a message outside those hours and the volunteer will call them back.

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