Celebrating DonMentia in 2020

Monday 30th November 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, we’re celebrating the wonderful partnership Lakeside Village has enjoyed over the past year with our Charity of the Year,
 DonMentia.  Eileen Harrington, founder of DonMentia, shares the highlights of the last twelve months:
 For a small local charity like DonMentia, to have had the support of a major business, such as Lakeside Village, is a huge help.
The tins in many of the shops have provided a healthy contribution, as were the donations from the shops themselves of some wonderful gifts to be used as tombola and raffle prizes at the Christmas Launch in 2019.
At that event, we were able to reach more people to tell them of the help we can provide. The extra funding that ensued means we can deliver more support to more Doncaster people.
Highlights of the year
For me, personally, one of the highlights was the Dragon Boat Race, which is such a novel event in itself.  It was a brilliant source of revenue and was the first event under the wing of Lakeside.  It was also a great place to promote the existence and aims and objectives of DonMentia to people who don’t know of us.
Another notable highlight was the Christmas Launch.  From many aspects – the lovely donations from Lakeside shops, the entertainment arranged by the management, the pleasant atmosphere, which put people in a friendly and generous mood, so they contributed greatly to the funds.   We had a superb result over the two days, which was helped by the fine weather.
The funding has helped us to arrange for a gift bag or hamper of surprises each and every month during lockdown, which will be kept up until lockdown ends. It is a special treat for a well-deserving group who are very much in need of some TLC, pampering and lifting of spirits.
How can the community help DonMentia moving forward during this time? 
With difficulty!  Initially, volunteers were delivering bags of miscellaneous gift items from DonMentia, doing shopping, knocking at doors for no specific reason other than to chat, just to break up the day for a lonely person.
This is an aspect that can continue on a freelance basis and does not need DonMentia to initiate it.
Some local businesses have also helped us by providing the free delivery of a monthly surprise package from DonMentia to lots of carers of households with dementia, frequently contributing to the cost of these packages.
Often these same carers were overjoyed simply to see another face as they see so few and are having to try and help the person with dementia understand that no one is allowed out.
People have donated and purchased books from a charity book stall, frequently not asking for change when paying.  The sales of jam, marmalade and other produce as well as garden fresh fruit sales have also helped.  Cakes have also been donated for afternoon teas when we were allowed limited numbers in the garden and we are continuing to offer monthly contact, and indeed monthly gifts, to all our clients.
For more information about DonMentia and how you can support the charity, visit https://www.donmentia.org/