Chinese dementia center's funding cut

By Bo Leung | China Daily UK | Updated: 2016-12-16 17:11

A project in London that helps people from the Chinese community cope with dementia is urgently seeking new sources of funding after cuts in municipal grants left it facing an uncertain future.

The Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, based in London's Soho near Chinatown, set up the London Chinese Dementia and Alzheimer's Project in 2013.

Eddie Chan, director of the center, told China Daily:"Many of these people are afraid to go to mainstream services because they don't speak the language or they don't even realize that there are certain services out there."

In 2013, the center received a 145,000 pound grant from the City of London Corporation's charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, to cover staff salaries and running costs for three years.

But from January next year, after applying for a grant extension, it will receive just 80,000 pounds over the following two years.

Chan said they hope to make up the difference by raising money through crowdfunding as well as a program of fundraising events and by soliciting corporate donations.

One of the center's activities is organizing reminiscence tea gatherings and workshops for people with early signs of dementia, as well as their carers.

The tea sessions provide a supportive environment and allow carers an opportunity to speak with others in similar situations and exchange advice.

The project has been helping people such as 69-year-old Celia Choi, who has been married to 87-year-old Terry Murfet for 41 years. Terry has dementia and Celia said it has been important for her to share her experience with other members of the Chinese community.

"The group sessions give carers like me a break. The other carers and I share tips, advice and talk about similar problems." she said. "It helps you get things of your chest."

Chan said many people have benefitted from the service.

"The project has assisted around 60 Chinese families in London," he said. "We want to expand to more boroughs."

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