Hartlepool great-grandmother Mary raises cash for dementia projects on her 85th birthday

From left: Marketing manager Chantelle Dougherty, carer Bernadette Robinson, Mary Thomson and Caroline Ryder-Jones
From left: Marketing manager Chantelle Dougherty, carer Bernadette Robinson, Mary Thomson and Caroline Ryder-Jones

A selfless great-grandmother has raised hundreds of pounds for dementia care in Hartlepool.

Mary Thomson asked for donations instead of presents on her 85th birthday.

The kind gesture raised £300 for Dementia Friendly Hartlepool, and will help raise awareness of the condition and to support events for people living with dementia and their carers.

Five years ago Mary raised the same amount for Cancer Research UK on her 80th birthday.

She handed over a cheque for the latest collection to Caroline Ryder-Jones, of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust at Carewatch, in Avenue Road, which provides home care services to Mary.

Mary, who has 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, said: “I didn’t want presents so I had a box and people put the money in. My brother Jimmy Ratchford, died of dementia and I know there are a lot of people in Hartlepool with it.”

Caroline said: “Mary is such an inspirational lady and we appreciated that she wanted to raise money to benefit others living with dementia and spread the word to raise awareness in Hartlepool.

“The Carewatch team and I were accepting the money on behalf of Dementia Friendly Hartlepool, which aims to develop Hartlepool as a nationally recognised dementia friendly community.

“We want to ensure that people living with dementia are able to remain active and involved in their communities.”

For more information on Dementia Friendly Hartlepool, visit www.hartlepoolnow.co.uk/DFHpool or contact The Bridge, on (01429) 868587.