New Year’s Day Dementia Dip goes with a splash

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Thirteen Alzheimer Scotland supporters braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day to take a dip in the sea off Lewis.

This was the second year for the Dementia Dip and it is hoped that it will continue to grow. Despite the rain and cold weather, the swimmers - sponsored by family and friends - marked the start of the New Year by plunging into Broadbay at Gress Beach.

Marion MacInnes, Service Manager, Alzheimer Scotland and dipper said: “This challenge was a fantastic way to start the year.

“The Dementia Dip is a great experience and an excellent way to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland as we want to make sure that nobody faces the challenge of dementia alone.

“Thanks you to all those who took up the challenge and those who came along to support us.

“We are delighted that the Dip has raised enough funds to support a Dementia Café for another year. We are also hopeful that when all the sponsorship is collected there will also be some funds to put towards other activities and support on the island.

“Everyone affected by dementia has a unique experience so please come along to a café and see what support is on offer.

“One lady at the café said: “I heard all about it and I think you are all very brave to go in the sea at this time of year!”

The event was organised the Service Manager and the local branch of Alzheimer Scotland.

Branch Chair Reverend Iain Campbell said: “My thoughts were with the brave souls who took to the sea to raise funds for people with dementia in the area, including their carers and families.

“I hope that more people will get in touch and become involved in our fundraising events and activities in the area. If you are interested in volunteering with the Branch please get in touch with Marion on the details below.”

The funding for the Dementia Cafe will allow Alzheimer Scotland to provide a friendly, supportive place for socialising and mutual support. It is an opportunity for establishing community connections, to meet others in the same situation for a chat and a cuppa and to access information and advice in an informal setting.

The Cafe meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 11am to 1pm in the Lewis and Harris Dementia Resource Centre, 18 Bells Road, Stornoway. The café has come to be recognised as a valuable resource for people with dementia and their carers.

If you have any questions about services in the Western Isles or you are interested in participating in the dip next year please contact Marion on mmacinnes@alzscot.org or phone 01851 702123.

Alzheimer Scotland also operate a 24 hour Dementia Helpline Freephone 0808 808 3000.

Pictured is Katie MacKay who raised £175 in sponsor money for the group.