Honiton Memory Cafe launches fundraiser to link up services with members in rural areas

Heather Penwarden. Photo: Callum Lawton

Heather Penwarden. Photo: Callum Lawton - Credit: Archant

Honiton Memory Cafe has launched its first ever crowdfunding initiative as it looks to link up its services with members in rural locations.

The group, which is run by Honiton Dementia Action Alliance (HDAA) has until August 20 to raise £5,000 - which will be matched by Legal and General.

If the money is raised, it will allow the memory cafe to hire either two specially-adapted minibuses for one year, or one minibus for two years, to take its members out on social outings.

The initiative would also support Honiton-based transport charity TRIP, which would be leasing out the buses.

HDAA is one of Legal and General’s ten ‘Community Legends’. The firm is offering match-funding to ten community groups nationwide, and HDAA successfully applied to be a part of the project,

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Heather Penwarden, chair of HDAA, said: “This project was born because we are supporting around 60 people.

“The majority of them living within or very close to Honiton.

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“There’s the people that live further out in villages and rural communities that would benefit from all the things we do.

“Because they are not driving anymore, they cannot get to us.”

Mrs Penwarden said the memory cafe is a ‘very vibrant organisation’ which takes it members out on walks, visits and social trips - the latter being extremely popular with members.

She added: “In the summer months, we tend to go out once a week. If we got this money, more people will be able to access what we are doing.”

As part of Legal and General’s initiative, Mrs Penwarden teamed up with one of its partners, Crowdfunding UK, to set up an online fundraising page.

The memory cafe now has 12 days to raise as much money as it can - with Legal and General set to match up to £5,000. Mrs Penwarden added: “The social isolation that you experience when you have dementia is one of the hardest things families and people dementia find.

“If you live in a rural location, that’s compounded.

“Having the facility where you can be helped to get out and meet other people and have contact with the outside world is enormously important for people living with dementia.”

People can donate via www.crowdfunder.co.uk/action-on-rural-dementia

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