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Unlike large national charities, Dementia Matters do not have huge fundraising resources. This has two impacts on a charity like ours. Firstly, it means that it is always a challenge to bring the funds in that we need to provide those “extra” services. Secondly, however, it means that practically every penny donated goes to the people we support.

We only have one dedicated Fundraising Manager at Dementia Matters, and they oversee everything from grant applications, to Facebook appeals, activities and events, and even running half marathons! Our fundraising costs, therefore, are low.

Last year we received about £75,000 of donations from the public. This coming year we hope that will increase to around £150,000. When this is added to grants and trusts, the charity hopes to raise in the region of £300,000 in the coming year.

What this means is that for every £1 donated 92p goes directly to the people we support, with the rest being spent on fundraising salary and expenses, and general admin. This compares very favourably to larger charities where often as little as 30p of your donated pound actually reaches those who need it most.

The money you donate does not go directly to any statutory services, with this expense coming from Local Authority or NHS, known as our Commissioners. Your money funds the extra work we do that we cannot charge on to our Commissioning partners. It is these projects that often make the difference between basic and enhanced services.

The types of work your donation will help fund are, for example:

The new Dementia Academy. Based at the Bradbury Centre in Newcastle this is a three week course for new entrants into the adult care sector. The Academy approach allows us to train people as dementia specialists from day one, and give them the skills they need to operate in this very challenging environment. Perhaps most importantly, however, is that from day one we can see if our new recruits share our values, and are the “right” type of people for the sector. Our values are Passion, Honesty, Respect, Empowerment, and Excellence, and we want to see these values in the people we train.

Day Care activities and outings. Our beautiful day care centre in Newcastle is a home to around 40 people each day. The money we receive from social services for those attending covers staff and overheads, but doesn’t cover what goes on inside in terms of activities, and décor, and also outings.

All arts, music, dance, fitness activities have to be paid for by Dementia Matters, and this is something we are delighted to do. If we take our residents out to Whitby, or to the Panto or Cinema, we have to find the money to pay for this. So your donations directly support the quality if life people have in our day centres.

Likewise with the fabric of the building, we currently have an appeal to decorate our day care service with pictures, wall paper reflecting Newcastle and Northumberland, to make the centre cosy and interesting.

Residential Care at the Bradbury Centre. Recently we increased our capacity from 5 to 8 bedrooms at our residential facility at Bradbury. We plan to further extend the service due to increased demand by another 5 rooms. Capital cost such as this must be met by charitable funds, even if the demand from Local Authority is there. Our 3 bedroom expansion cost us in the region of £80,000 and a further 5 rooms will cost in the region of £250,000. In order to respond to need, and requests from people to stay in our services, rather than to go to new care homes, we have to find the funds to build these projects, train staff and equip the room with specialist equipment.

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