A MINIBUS has been helping dementia sufferers' keep their minds active and organisers are hoping to win funding to keep it going.
Dementia Concern Ealing, known at the time as Alzheimer's Concern Ealing, scooped the top prize of £1,000 last year and put it to good use, hiring a minibus for day trips.
The bus took members of the charity's Working Age Dementia group, which provides support for those aged under 65, to a range of attractions. They included the Natural History Museum, Richmond Park, the Museum of Brands in North Kensington and Kew Gardens.
It ran once a month as part of the group's activities every Thursday. The rest of the time they are based at their day centre at the William Hobbayne Centre, Hanwell.
Maureen Smith, who collected the prize last year with her husband Tom (both drivers for the charity), explained how important the trips are and how help with funding has never been so important.
She said: “With dementia they forget the present but remember way back, when they see things displayed which remind them of the past they perk up. Because of the cutbacks taking place at the moment, Dementia Concern has also had to make cutbacks and the cost of hiring minibuses has risen this year.
“There is a lot of concern within the group and it would be devastating if any part of the charity was to close.”
The Working Age Dementia group is just part of the charity's work. It also runs day sessions at weekends at both Sycamore Lodge, Acton and Elm Lodge, Greenford for the over 65s.