Wicklow Dementia Support CLG Annual Report 2021
Wicklow Dementia Support (WDS) is a voluntary organisation, whose main objective is to provide support to people with dementia in Co Wicklow to enable them maintain their identity, interests and independence living life to the fullest in their own home and community, while also meeting the needs of family carers for social engagement, information and respite.
The Charity is managed by a board of five volunteer directors. HSE funding enables the Board appoint a dementia experienced professional to co-ordinate the AlzPal programme. Trained volunteers provide services on the ground.
The organisation is registered with the Charity Regulator Authorities (RCN 20081539) and is fully compliant with their Governance code.
Wicklow Dementia Support delivered the following services from August 2020 to July 2021
- AlzPals, a befriending service providing a “compatible companion” for the person with dementia, while also giving a short break for the family carer. The AlzPal engages with the PwD for two hours each week. Volunteer AlzPals are recruited, Garda vetted and participate in a training course prior to being ‘matched’ to a person with dementia. Ten new volunteers took part in AlzPal Training sessions via ZOOM. With COVID vaccination programme in place, full home visits resumed in April/May 2021. At the end of this reporting period, there were 30 people with dementia being supported by an AlzPal. This programme is grant aided by the HSE.
- Meet and Eat, a social eating programme part of the Healthy Ireland initiative, funded by the Department of Health via Pobal ceased in February 2021, with four remaining clients in receipt of this service transferring to the AlzPal programme.
- Activity groups remained suspended due to COVID restrictions for this period.
- Musical Memories facilitates people with dementia and their family supporter to engage in weekly musical activities. It is led by volunteers and takes place on Friday morning in Greystones. During COVID restrictions, on average ten people participated in the virtual weekly sessions.
- Carer Support group took place via ZOOM once a month from August 2020 to July 2021. On average five people attended.
- Bereavement Support Group (BSG) provides once a month counselling and support to family carers who have experienced loss. The group is facilitated by professional counsellor on a pro bono basis. Due to COVID support was offered to those who required it via phone calls.
Wicklow Dementia Support successfully applied for a grant from Community Foundation Comic Relief for the Stay Connected Project. This funding enabled WDS purchase 12 Tablets for clients and families use, to enable them connect during COVID restrictions with WDS activities like Musical Memories and the Carer Support Group. The funding also provides for IT support in setting up the Tablets with Apps of interest to clients such as opera, music, old movies, sudoku, word games to provide activities while cocooning.
In 2021, under the Charities Act 2009, every charity registered in the Republic of Ireland was required to submit an Annual Report to the Charities Regulator indicating its compliance with the Charities Code of Governance. Wicklow Dementia Support Board Members put in place the policies and protocols required to ensure Wicklow Dementia Support CLG met the core standards to declare in its annual report that it is fully compliant. A new Constitution was also drafted to reflect the vision, mission and objectives of Wicklow Dementia Support CLG.
The directors have submitted the financial statements of the company for the year ended 31 July 2021.
The surplus for the year amounted to €7,834 (July 2020 – €24,640) based on a turnover figure of €49,389 (July 20 – €57,795).
Chairperson Marita O’Brien