In Northern Ireland, there are approximately 20,000 people living with dementia but many feel they are facing the condition alone, without any support. Power NI is the first corporate organisation to help fund the charity on an on-going basis.
Dementia NI was established in 2015 by five people who were living with the diagnosis of dementia. With their own experiences, they worked collectively to create a support network that tackles the stigma surrounding the condition.
Announcing the new partnership, Gwyneth Compston, Energy Services Manager stated:
“The Charity of the Year partnership is incredibly important to all of us at Power NI and we are proud to partner with Dementia NI for 2019/20. Dementia NI acts as a pillar of support for so many people across Northern Ireland. We are a caring energy provider and with Dementia NI’s support, we want I to ensure we are well equipped as an organisation to support our customers living with dementia or any other illness”.
Today, the charity operates across Northern Ireland with many initiatives including empowerment groups in each Health Trust area to help raise awareness about dementia, offer support, training and providing a voice for those living with the condition.
Welcoming the support from Power NI, Tara Collins, Programme Manager at Dementia NI, said:
“We are so pleased that Power NI has chosen Dementia NI as their charity of the year and look forward to seeing the opportunities the partnership has to offer. As a charity, the money donated by the public is vital in order for us to continue our services across Northern Ireland. The money raised by Power NI will be used to help Dementia NI to grow their essential services to help our members and their loved ones dealing with a dementia diagnosis”.
Power NI employee, Julie Ringland, has had first-hand experience supporting a family member with dementia. Julie explains why she nominated the charity:
“My lovely mum lived with dementia several years before she passed away. After her diagnosis, I attended a Dementia NI Awareness event. They helped me to understand the complexity of dementia to give my mum the support she needed and deserved, as well as listening to and supporting me as a carer. I’m delighted that our staff led fundraising will benefit this marvellous local charity”.
Power NI support a charity within the organisation each year. The energy provider raised £7,000 for Chest, Heart and Stroke and £10,000 for Action Mental Health over the last two years.
John McErlane (Dementia NI founder member) with Power NI’s student team of fundraisers, from left, Amy McBride, Eoin League and Cara McKinstry.