A Wokingham woman dedicated to supporting people with dementia has been awarded for her efforts.
Local campaigner Sandy Sweet is the volunteer ambassador for The Alzheimer’s Society and has been a member of the charity for eight years.
She said: “Alzheimer’s Society is a very unique charity. There are a huge number of volunteers that go out of their way every day to strengthen the battle against dementia and the charity truly puts these individuals at the heart of their work. The charity do what they do because they know how difficult living with the condition is.”
Mrs Sweet received an invite to a special reception at St James’s Palace- including an awards ceremony and afternoon tea- on May 23 after being nominated by a member of The Alzheimer’s Society for her volunteering efforts.
The event was hosted by Princess Alexandra and was attended by a variety of guests including those shortlisted for the awards by a judging panel.
And Mrs Sweet swooped the prize for Committed to Creating a World Without Dementia.
The award was presented to Sandy on the basis of her work with the Fix Dementia Care team, a group dedicated to improving care for those living with the disease.
The organisation hosted stands at last year’s political party conferences where they spoke to MPs about the need for a better dementia care system and specific funding for those living with the illness.
Delighted by the recognition, Mrs Sweet said: “Having read the résumés of some of the other amazing volunteers, I really had no expectation of winning anything and was just thrilled to be there and to be nominated.”
And Sandy’s charitable efforts are not limited to her work last year. The Wokingham volunteer also appeared on a panel of professionals at The Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference on May 21 to discuss the need for improvement to the nation’s current dementia care provisions.
Speaking prior to the event, Mrs Sweet said: “This is the first time I’ve ever been asked to sit on the panel. It will be an interesting event as the green paper for the social care bill has been pushed back several times.”
Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage and National Medical Director for NHS England Professor Steve Powis also responded to questions about the current care system, dementia training, and research at the conference.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Society and what they do log on to www.alzheimers.org.uk/.