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Sutherland dementia projects urged to stake a claim to £170K funding pot run through Age Scotland project

By Hector MacKenzie

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Dementia, part of Age Scotland, has launched a funding grant for grassroots dementia projects.
Dementia, part of Age Scotland, has launched a funding grant for grassroots dementia projects.

About Dementia, part of Age Scotland, the country’s national charity for older people, has launched a funding grant for grassroots dementia projects.

The Encouraging and Supporting Grassroots Activity (ESGA) 2023 Fund will see £170,000 awarded to groups and individuals to run projects within the community supporting people affected by dementia.

People looking to set up new projects, or those running already existing groups or activities, are welcome to apply for funding from £5000 to £20,000 to cover a 12-month period.

Delivered as part of About Dementia’s Legacy partner commitments to the now-closed Legacy Changes Trust, the aim of the fund is to encourage community-led, grassroots support for people living with dementia, unpaid carers and family members.

It is hoped the fund will address gaps in support for people living with dementia and unpaid carers, break down barriers such as transport issues, and empower people to live well within their communities.

This is the second time the ESGA fund has been offered. Last year About Dementia was able to award funds totalling £145,921 – delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government – to 14 organisations across the country.

One of those was The Forget Me Notes – a singing project which aims to create inclusive choirs for everyone, including people living with dementia.

It was only when funding from About Dementia was secured last year that the choirs became weekly offerings, enabling them to recruit new volunteers to provide assistance to members.

Alan Midwinter, chief executive of the Forget Me Notes project, said: “The grant was used to consolidate our work and make it consistent, we wouldn’t be able to keep it going as much without it.”

On a warm sunny day Alan says between 70 to 80 people usually turn up at the outdoor Choir In The Park, including many people living with dementia and unpaid carers: “People with dementia who attend our choirs get a sense of achievement, community involvement, its inclusive for people who might be genuinely isolated.”

The ESGA fund has been co-produced with a panel of people with lived experience of dementia, who will work with About Dementia during the assessment and decision-making process.

Kainde Manji, head of About Dementia, said: “The projects we’ve funded last year have already made a huge impact on the communities they serve.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer further funding to support this type of work.

“We know how much its needed and the difference it really does make to people living with dementia and their families.”

Applications can be downloaded from the Age Scotland website and should be submitted to DementiaGrants@agescotland.org.uk no later than 5pm on Friday, September 1, 2023.

Alternatively, applications can be posted to Age Scotland at 160 Causewayside, Edinburgh, EH9 1PR.

Anyone needing assistance to fill out a form should contact About Dementia on 0333 323 2400.

More information can be found at age.scot/aboutdementia

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