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The Volunteer Dementia Project

The Medlock Charitable Trust have donated £100,000 to the RUH’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, to provide an innovative new programme ‘The Volunteer Dementia Project’, to care for patients with dementia. The Trust’s support and donation will enhance the hospital’s exceptional medical care and make a huge impact towards the lives of patients with dementia.

The Volunteer Dementia Project will run from 2015 to 2018 and will be led by the RUH Consultant Geriatrician, Dr Chris Dyer. The project will work in collaboration with the Research Institute Care for the Elderly (RICE), The Alzheimer’s Society and Avon Wiltshire Partnership (AWP). This exciting new project will provide 160 dementia volunteers and 5,000 hours of care to RUH patients with dementia and their families.

A staggering number of patients struggle with dementia and due to their condition are more likely to be hospitalised which can be isolating and frightening – 75% of the RUH’s patients are over the age of 65 and 30% of these patients suffer from dementia. With The Medlock Charitable Trust’s support, The Volunteer Dementia Project will provide a sustainable bank of volunteers to support patients with dementia. The project will also incorporate a Volunteer Befriending Service and Volunteer Led Activities to address the problems of loneliness, where each willing patient will be assigned with a befriender, to provide mental stimulation and companionship. The project will also work in alignment with the ambitions of the RUH Dementia Strategy Working Group’s vision of becoming the leading Dementia Friendly Hospital in England by 2019.

The Forever Friends Appeal is raising £194,000 towards this bespoke and holistic new project which will commence in late 2015. The Medlock Charitable Trust’s donation will make a significant impact on The Forever Friends Appeal fundraising target towards this exciting project.

Dr Chris Dyer, RUH Consultant Geriatrician:

“I cannot thank The Medlock Charitable Trust enough for their commitment towards dementia care at the RUH. This extremely generous gift will make an enormous impact and will enhance the way we care for our patients with dementia.”

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising at The Forever Friends Appeal:

“The Medlock Charitable Trust has been supporting The Forever Friends Appeal since the charity was established in 1999. We are delighted the trust is still supporting important initiatives in the hospital which is helping us and RUH staff achieve this innovative dementia project.”

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