On June 1st we celebrated our seventh birthday. To mark the event we had a special cake donated to us by Diane’s Scrumptious Cakes which we shared at the refreshment break at our Thursday activities afternoon.

Linda Pattison, BIADS’ Chief Officer, said: “When we opened our first office we could not have imagined how successful BIADS would become. We are very proud of the support we offer and we can see on a daily basis the difference this support is making to the lives of Barnsley people affected by dementia.”

BIADS now has 11 staff, we provide 16 services and have 45 volunteers. Our carer support service has had 501 referrals for support since it started in 2012 and Jacky and Lesley (our support workers) have made 1431 referrals on behalf of our members for help from other organisations. The final number in our numbers game is four and that represents the number of months funding we have left for our carer support service.

A couple of weeks ago we reported that we were bridging the gap between funders with our SOS appeal. Sadly our first application for long term funding has been denied. This means the gap we are trying to bridge has become wider than first thought.

We simply have to keep this vital service going for those who are caring for a relative or friend who has dementia. Pam Oughton, one of our members whose husband has dementia said: “Carer support has saved my marriage, my life, my sanity – I couldn’t manage without it.“

Please consider supporting this appeal – with 2,969 people in Barnsley with dementia today and an ageing population no one knows who may need us next. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/biads/sosappeal or sent to BIADS’ Dementia Support Centre, Dean Street, Barnsley, S70 6EX. Thank you.