Dementia Forward, a North Yorkshire Charity based in Burton Leonard have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Dementia Forward was formed 9 years ago in response to the growing need for dementia support in North Yorkshire.
Jill Quinn CEO said:
We have never looked back from that first step in 2012 and have grown the charity from supporting just 200 families in the first year to now supporting over 4,000 families and this award is certainly a red letter day for everyone involved. We are blessed to have a team of over 200 volunteers and so many supporters across the county so it is especially exciting to see volunteers receiving the recognition for all they do. Volunteers drive the minibus, support at Wellbeing cafes, offer skills such as media, administration, public speaking, baking, gardening and so much more.
During Covid, like everyone else we had to adapt our ways of supporting people and have been making over 1000 welfare calls a month and doing doorstep deliveries of activities with our Café in a Box project. Dementia is a complicated illness and the work can be demanding but it is rewarding and the families we support are part of the team, often referred to as the DF family.
Dementia Forward has a North Yorkshire Dementia Help line and this is the portal into the range of services including teams of Dementia Support Advisors, a Dementia Specialist Nurse, Care Coordinators and Activity Workers. They provide advice, information and support along with a range of innovative wellbeing activities, also specialising in young Onset dementia.
Dementia Forward is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of Dementia Forward will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mrs Johanna Ropner, Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from Dementia Forward will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Debby Lennox Community Liaison Lead for Dementia Forward said:
We are so pleased that our volunteers are getting the recognition they deserve for their amazing commitment and unerring support. This year has been difficult for everyone, and we are so grateful to them for sticking with us and being so flexible. We can’t wait to be able to celebrate with them face-to-face, and we know that they can’t wait to get back to our regular wellbeing services, which mean almost as much to them as they do to our clients.