Sheffield dementia: Parson Cross group wins £300,000 lottery fund to grow dementia cafes in 'turbulent time'

"Funding streams that used to exist have "dried up, whilst grant funding from other bodies has become massively oversubscribed"
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A Sheffield dementia service hub is celebrating securing almost £300,000 in funding at a time where its funding streams have otherwise "dried up".

Parson Cross Community Development Forum, which is run by just three staff, will be able to increase capacity for its dementia cafes and continue to develop dementia projects thanks to £297,142 in funding.

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Based in St Thomas Moore’s Church, the staff run vital community services and provide a focal point for one of the poorest areas of the city.

The group is celebrating securing almost £300,000 in funding.The group is celebrating securing almost £300,000 in funding.
The group is celebrating securing almost £300,000 in funding.

Staff say the service has been hit by government reductions to local authority budgets, meaning funding streams that used to exist have "dried up, whilst grant funding from other bodies has become massively oversubscribed".

Louise Ashmore, centre manager, said: "Just to have some security to continue to grow and deliver our services without worrying about our vulnerable users and what happens to them if we aren’t here next month, as well as our own personal future, is an enormous relief.

"I’d say it feels like we have just won the lottery, but we actually have!

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"This feels like a huge recognition of all the work we have been doing over recent years."

The group fought to keep operating through COVID, and relies on room hire and small grants from charitable bodies, giving them little in terms of long-term security.

But still, they have managed to develop specialised, community-based dementia service which gives valuable support for people with dementia and their family and friends.

Louise added: "With NHS budgets under huge pressure and cuts to local authority funding, there is a continued demand for our services from people and their families who feel isolated and alone trying to cope with dementia. 

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"We are trying to add a bit of colour and support to people’s lives and really make a difference, and I’m hugely proud of what we do and what we have achieved.

"I’m looking forward to taking our service further so that many more people can benefit."

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