Coagh woman Gerardine Mullan makes call for dementia carers in Mid Ulster

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Mid Ulster Volunteer Gerardine Mullan is calling on more people to give up their time and get involved in their community by volunteering for Alzheimer’s Society.

She explains how she wants to make sure no one feels lost, alone and unsupported like she did.

“I became a volunteer through my personal experience of being a carer for my mother who had dementia. We were never signposted to the support of Alzheimer’s Society and I want to make sure no one feels lost, alone and unsupported like I did,” said the Coagh woman.

“I am a Fundraising and Awareness Raising Volunteer. Being able to share a person’s dementia journey and give them some understanding and empathy is very satisfying and even if we only reach out to one other person for help and support I will be happy.

“The Volunteer Recognition Event [held on Thursday 2nd June at Riddel Hall, Belfast] was a wonderful day, it was so much fun and being able to meet with and find out about what other volunteers are up to was brilliant.

“We need more volunteers to help support people affected by dementia in the Mid Ulster area. Volunteering is so worthwhile, rewarding and makes a positive impact both personally and for the Society. It’s great for personal development and flexible – it can fit around your lifestyle.

‘Volunteering is such a valuable experience. I have been able to make a positive out of a negative.’

The Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland currently has over 450 volunteers supporting all of our work from services to research and fundraising.

Every year Alzheimer’s Society celebrates the contribution, enthusiasm and dedication of volunteers in Northern Ireland with a Volunteer Recognition Event, held during Volunteers’ Week.

Volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Society are involved in a wide range of activities in Northern Ireland including; Fundraising, Befriending, Singing for the Brain, Advocacy, Dementia Friendly Communities and Research.

Bernadine McCrory, Director of Operations in Northern Ireland, said:

“There are an estimated 20,000 people currently living with dementia in Northern Ireland so volunteers are vital to the Alzheimer’s Society, both by volunteering at services and by fundraising. The hard work of our volunteers helps us to provide support services for people living with dementia today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow.”

In the Mid Ulster area alone there are 787 people living with dementia.