Woman’s five-figure legacy to help dementia groups

The Purple Hub presenting money to The Draper Fund.

The Purple Hub presenting money to The Draper Fund. - Credit: Archant

Groups supporting people living with dementia in North Somerset are invited to apply for funding following a legacy left behind by a generous Weston resident who herself worked tirelessly to raise support.

Penny Draper from Weston, who died three years ago, left a £10,000 legacy to Rethink Mental Illness with the instructions that the funds should be used to raise awareness of dementia and support individuals with dementia as well as their carers and family members.

Penny's experience with dementia, first with her mother 20 years ago and then another family member, made her realise at the time that there was no access to support and advice.

In response she set up a tiny shop in Weston called Awareness for Dementia to raise money to support any local dementia charities.

When the shop became too expensive to run, Penny opened up her own home and sold as many of her possessions as she possibly could. She would also sell books on the seafront to holiday makers during the summer.

Penny joined Rethink Mental Illness as a team member in 2011 and started running a new support group.

Unfortunately due to a life-limiting illness she was unable to get the group off the ground.

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Her support did not end there though, even when she could not walk and had no energy to stand, she still sold her belongings to continue raising funds for the group.

The Draper Dementia Fund has now been set up in conjunction with Rethink Mental Illness and applications from groups such as a café, memory group or respite group in North Somerset helping people with dementia are now welcomed and will be considered by the panel every three months.

One group to receive funding in Weston is the Purple Hub Community Engagement Group which is an inclusive space for people who receive care, people that are isolated or lonely and for people with dementia.

It is also a respite space for the carers of individuals with dementia.

The group, located at the Vintage Church, in Hughenden Road, is free and runs twice a month.

For more information or an application form email draperdementiafund@rethink.org or call Brenda on 07399 714981.