A MAMMOTH fundraising campaign to establish a dementia centre in Alloa has finally crossed the line, thanks to the generosity of Clacks residents.

The community-focussed Dementia Resource Centre will open in town after the coronavirus crisis is over.

It will serve the Forth Valley, thanks to the hard work of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire Volunteer Branch of Alzheimer Scotland as well as the kind generosity of many who went along to numerous events or came forward with donations.

The state-of-the-art centre will have advisors on-hand to offer information and support, there will be community activities, informal drop-ins, Dementia Friends sessions and day-care for those living with late-stage dementia.

As the Advertiser reported over the past year, the campaign to raise £100,000 for the centre saw a busy twelve months of activities.

The centre will be based on Mill Street in Alloa where a property has been acquired by Alzheimer Scotland and plans were in full swing for the opening until Covid-19 placed the nation under an effective lockdown.

Debbie Cassidy, is one member of the fundraising group who worked hard to bring the centre to the Wee County.

The erosion of local services for people with dementia was a major trigger and with thousands of people diagnosed in the wider area, the centre will be a much-needed resource.

Debbie told the Advertiser: "We are absolutely over the moon.

"So many people in the community, businesses and individuals, have helped us along the way and supported us."

The Alva woman, like many others, has a very personal connection to the Alzheimer Scotland charity as she looks after her mother who has been living with the terrible disease for more than a decade.

"We didn't think it would be reached as quickly as it has been", added the fundraiser.

"We are delighted, it's been a lot of hard work, but it's been fantastic as well and it will help so many people in the area."

The secret to success was the fundraisers' "love for the campaign and the fact that dementia has affected all of our lives in some way, shape or form", she added.

One recent event was the very successful St Patrick's Night Party at Parklands in Alva, hosted by local gent and volunteer Bernard McCallum.

Debbie explained: "Bernard lost his wife coming on two years ago, this really was in memory of Cath.

"It just tucks at your heartstrings because you lose the person quite early on, the person that you knew disappears, your life changes dramatically and then you are living with somebody that you don't recognise for many years still to come.

"It's a dreadful disease."

Thanks were also given for recent donations, £400 from No71 Café in Alva, £250 and generally support throughout the campaign from the Rotary Club of Alloa and more.

Debbie was keen to tell people that a free helpline is available during the coronavirus crisis for anyone needing support with dementia, call 0808 808 3000.


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Alloa Advertiser