The team at M&S Nottingham has raised over £19,000 for its Charity of the Year, Alzheimer’s Society, through a year-long fundraising campaign that also saw a transformation in the way the store supports shoppers with dementia.
On top of the store’s fundraising activities, twenty M&S colleagues took part in the charity’s Dementia Friends Information Session. Dementia Friends is the charity’s biggest ever initiative to change people’s perception of dementia, providing vital insight into how best to help and care for people living with the illness.
The session has transformed the way colleagues at M&S Nottingham act, think and talk about the condition. Since it’s delivery, M&S colleagues have become ‘champions’ of dementia, with the store introducing clear signage, dementia friendly mugs with two handles either side for cafe customers, and full-time shopping, packing and paying assistance for those living with or caring for someone with the condition.
To help raise awareness of the condition and generate the £19,000, M&S Nottingham hosted several fundraising events throughout the year, including a 75ft abseil, vintage-themed tea parties and Memory Walks. The Memory Walk saw six of M&S’s team come together to celebrate their loved ones affected by dementia, raising £2,000 of the final total
M&S’s £19,000 donation will help the charity’s efforts to change perceptions about the condition as well as fund vital research and go towards improving care and support for local people living with the condition.
Several colleagues at M&S Nottingham have seen dementia affect family members or friends. Amanda Lowe, Section Co-ordinator at M&S Nottingham said: “My 89-year-old nan was diagnosed with vascular dementia 3 years ago. Witnessing the illness so closely makes you realise how important it is for charities like Alzheimer’s Society to get the funding they need to continue to support people like my nan.”
Hazel Self, Section Manager at M&S Nottingham added: “My father lives with dementia and I remember him saying to achieve amazing results you have to do amazing things, and I think we’ve done just that with our fundraising and the way we have changed how we interact with customers in store. I’m incredibly proud of the team!.”
Olly Larkin, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society in the East Midlands said: “Dementia is the 21st century’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes. In Nottinghamshire there are 14,000 people with dementia, so we are delighted that M&S Nottingham has united against dementia by supporting Alzheimer’s Society.”
Alzheimer’s Society provides services across the country, ranging from Dementia Cafes, Singing for the Brain groups, Dementia Support Workers and the National Dementia Helpline. It also campaigns to ensure the rights of people affected by dementia are recognised, and funds research into prevention, treatment and care, as well as helping to understand how to keep the brain healthy.