Dementia care campaign calls for volunteers

A NHS Trust is looking for people with a caring nature and a desire to support vulnerable people as part of a new dementia initiative.Dementia forget me not blue flower logo


The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is now seeking people with any time to spare to become Forget Me Not volunteers, a group of volunteers who primarily support and assist dementia patients and their carers. 


The Trust is also launching a competition for members of the public to suggest or donate objects from the 1950s and 1960s to help create memory boxes, which will be used by the volunteers to invoke memories of these eras. All suggestions for items will be entered into a free prize draw to win one of two fifty pound “Love to Shop” vouchers.


The Trust’s Deputy Associate Director of Nursing for Medicine, Helen Green, said: “For many of our patients a stay in hospital is a change in their routine, which can be confusing and distressing for anyone with dementia and their relatives.


“We already have a very successful voluntary service which helps to provide support to our patients and visitors in a number of ways. However as a Forget Me Not volunteer, you will be working directly with families and patients affected by dementia.


“These new volunteers will help bring a personal touch to patients’ stay in hospital and get involved in recreational activities with them.


“Volunteers will also help us create boxes which provide comfort to patients by creating associations with specific time periods and key events from their past. This can make a huge difference to the quality of the hospital experience for patients and relatives.


“Volunteers will be provided with full training to enable them to become a dementia friend. This will be delivered through a short course at the Trust on dementia which is based on the Alzheimer’s Society’s nationally accredited training.”


Anyone who is interested in this highly rewarding opportunity and has any time to spare is encouraged to get in touch with Ann Hallaways, Head of Voluntary Services by calling 01924 543450 or via email at


Memory box COMPETITION – win £50 shopping vouchers


To support the launch of the forget me not volunteer scheme, the Trust is also running a competition to help create the memory boxes for the volunteers to use on the wards.


A memory box contains items that connect with a particular era that will invoke memories of that period of time. Staff are hoping to create two boxes initially for the 1950s and 1960s and are welcoming suggestions from members of the community for items that can be included in the memory boxes.


All suggestions for items will be entered into a free prize draw to win one of two fifty pound “Love2Shop” vouchers, which can be spent at any shop or visitor attraction participating in the Love2Shop scheme.


Please send your suggestions to or post to Nikki Taylor-Clarke, Procurement Manager, Supplies Department, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Stanley Hall Annexe, Aberford Road, Wakefield, WF1 4AL by February 7.


You can also take part via the website by visiting the dementia care page and filling in the memory box competition form.


The prize draw will take place during the week commencing Monday 10 February and winners will be notified in writing.


Anyone with any items that meet the criteria is very welcome to donate them for the boxes if they wish to do so.




Notes to editors


The term dementia describes a set of symptoms that include loss of memory, mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning. Dementia UK estimates that between 750,000 and 820,000 people in the UK have dementia with the number expected to rise to more than 1 million by 2021.


The forget me not volunteer scheme is being launched ahead of a wider scheme, to provide better services for people with dementia at its hospitals in Dewsbury, Pinderfields, Pontefract and reassure their loved ones that they are receiving the best possible care. This will officially be launched later in the year.


As part of its commitment to patients with dementia, the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust will ensure:


  • All staff have the right knowledge and skills to care for such patients
  • Family  and carers will be encouraged to support our care in hospital and be involved in care planning
  • A dementia assessment/screening will be done on all patients over 75 years old who are admitted acutely to hospital
  • Our ward environment will be dementia friendly


This will officially be launched later in the year.