Dementia Adventure CEO, Neil Mapes, shares his reflections on this past year, celebrating the incredible work of the charity and sharing the gratitude of the whole team for your support this year.
“As the leaves fall towards the end of another year at Dementia Adventure we have a lot to celebrate, be thankful for and to look forward to in 2018.
In 2017 we made a holiday possible for a record number of people living with dementia and their carers. The photobooks are being sent out to our beneficiaries in time for Christmas as a reminder of joyful happy times together.
“Having not attempted a holiday for 14 years he has come back planning his next.” – Julie
“This is something everyone living with a relative with dementia should attend.”
“In 9 years it’s the best place I’ve had training.”
We have also supported staff and volunteers all over the UK to create and sustain outdoor activities with dementia.
We were particularly pleased to build on our Dementia Adventure in a Box work in Scotland this year as well as expanding this across the other UK countries in 2017 by working closely with licensed partners. Look out for more news from our partners in 2018 as they begin their outdoor activities programmes for people with dementia.
As a charity, we depend on people fundraising to reduce the cost of our fully supported dementia holidays, provide free dementia training for family carers and do research into the benefits of outdoor activity. We are really grateful to all the people who ran a marathon, swam the Serpentine or took part in a 24 hour endurance moped race! And to others who have donated in memory of a loved one. Maybe you would like to consider supporting us next year whether it be volunteering, talking to your employer, by taking on a challenge event or by leaving a legacy in your will?
Both players of People’s Postcode Lottery and the National Lottery (through the Big Lottery Fund) have supported our work this year with significant funds so do please consider supporting them by becoming a player.
We have reached an amazing total of 100 volunteers, supporting our holidays as well as in governance roles and community roles. I am really grateful to our trustees and people with dementia and family carers who have volunteered on our Special Interest Group this year. There are 90 volunteer places available in support of our 2018 holidays including our first international holiday in Portugal. But we also have a wide variety of other volunteer roles available in 2018 in addition to holidays. For example, Jonathan Girling has helped us get one step closer to our dream of our very own Dementia Adventure Centre of Excellence to become a reality. Next year we hope to add volunteer researchers to the volunteer team to further develop our understanding of the impact of our work.
So, thank you. We are grateful for all that you do in our support and all that you do for people with dementia and their carers. As winter starts we have one eye on the flowers of spring and the fruits of summer 2018. Together we can help more people living with dementia get outdoors and retain a sense of adventure in their lives.”
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!