Anne Bajorek: Guest Speaker from YoungDementia UK

The Rotary Club of Oxford Spires recently hosted a Musical Memories fundraising event in aid of YoungDementia UK. To help explain to club members what YoungDementia UK does as a charity, as well to give thanks to the club for their fundraising efforts, Anne Bajorek came to our club to give a presentation.

Anne has been employed by YD for 7 weeks! They run as lean as they can, most people working from home using email and phone to control the meetings and arrangements. YD was set up in 1998, after one sufferer fund there was nowhere offering help to young people (under 65).

There are estimated to be 42,000 people in the UK diagnosed with dementia under the age of 65. But compared to those living with the condition in old age, they are nobody’s priority. YoungDementia UK is dedicated to ensuring people affected by young onset dementia have the best opportunity to live well. The charity is based in Oxfordshire and provides face-to-face support for younger people and their families in the area.

They need £500K pa to run, and are looking to expand the Oxford model into the rest of the UK, beginning with Sheffield (which has an exisiting network which stopped due to funding being withdrawn).

Questions and Answers

Is the GP toolkit on the website?

No, the website has links for support.

How does the working from home work?

Lots of procedures and safeguarding, meetings take place in hotel bars and homes. They recruit from that perspective too.

Is there a social media presence?

Yes, Facebook

How does the UK compare with the rest of the world for Dementia?

Not known, but they are invited to international events.

How easy is it to diagnose?

It is not easy as symptoms are similar to other illnesses.

There is a book, which some members have read, called ‘Somebody I used to know’.

Anne said there is an online facility to record your story, others can link in to transcribe stories (volunteers are always needed for that).