Local dementia group secures charitable status

The Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community is set to have greater impact after securing charitable status.

Since it formed four years ago, the group has raised over £20,000 to fund local dementia services. As a registered charity, it can now generate even more money for good causes by qualifying for tax relief on most public donations.

The Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community is made up of local volunteers, businesses and Sevenoaks District Council. The group started out with the aim of raising awareness of good dementia practices and services. But soon after inception, it started raising money from ‘Run, walk or push against dementia’, sponsorship and donations to provide local services for people living with dementia and their families.

Today these services include five monthly ‘Forget-me-not cafés’, four monthly dementia friendly cinema screenings and the ‘Forget-me-notes’ singing group. The group also run wellbeing days and provides funding to other dementia groups.

Symone Salwan, Co-Chair of the Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community, says: “Securing charitable status is a big moment for the group. With the extra resources this will bring, we can expand our services for the people of Sevenoaks District.”

“A top priority is making sure we have a structure in place so we can operate long into the future. With our charitable status, and five professional trustees on board, we’re on the road to achieve this.”

Cllr John Edwards-Winser, Sevenoaks District Council’s Chairman, adds: “We’re so proud to support a group that makes a big difference to the lives of our residents. Thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers, they make limited resources go a long way, providing services that are a lifeline for people living with dementia.”

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