Ben’s Marathon Challenge

Ben Cornick, 43 from Westbourne near Chichester, is taking on the life changing challenge of running the London Marathon.  He is running in memory of his uncle Bill Worden and raising money for local charity Dementia Support and for Dementia Revolution – the marathon’s charity of the year.

Ben and his daughter Izzy visiting Sage House

Ben discovered race running quite late and this will be his first marathon.  He took part in the Great South Run in October 2018 and was inspired to continue.  He has been motivated to maintain his new found fitness but also to keep raising money for Dementia Support and the charity’s new dementia care facility Sage House in Tangmere. 

Both Ben’s aunt and uncle, Sylvia and Bill Worden, have been involved with the charity since it was established in 2014.  They were both supporters of the new dementia support hub – Sage House, and they were keen to see it built for the local community.  Bill himself had dementia, and sadly died two days before Sage House opened without seeing the fruits of his support. 

The family are still heavily involved with the charity, Sylvia volunteers regularly at Sage House and nephew Ben is fundraising through his runs and marathons. 

 Ben entered to run the London Marathon through a ballot which was advertised at his work.  Admittedly he did it on a whim and thought there was a slim chance of him successfully being allocated a place. However, he did get a place much to his shock and to the surprise of his family.

Daughter Izzy, aged 10, said she remembered: “Dad collected me after school and said he had some news – I thought he was joking when he said he was running the London Marathon.  But I am very proud of him.  We go out together now, I cycle and Dad runs alongside me.”

Ben started his training back in August for the Great South Run which was 10 miles, and after Christmas he started the Beginner Marathon Plan. Each weekend he has gradually increased the miles he has run, and at the end of March he achieved 22 miles (a marathon is 26 miles).

Ben’s 22 mile route

“I have never been a runner, it was not a goal of mine last summer but once I got started I found I really enjoyed it.  I get an adrenaline rush, but it is also relaxing; if I have had a bad day going for a run is a great remedy. 

“It has been great for my physical health too – I have had to change my diet, be aware of having a drink at the weekends if I want to run, and I’ve noticed a positive change in my fitness too.  It has taken a lot of commitment – I have missed a friend’s 40th birthday, fallen over in the dark – but I’m doing it for a great cause and in memory of a wonderful man, Uncle Bill, who I was very close to.”

“I’m looking forward to being one of the 40,000 running on 28th April, but I’m also looking forward to a month of enjoyment afterwards!  I’m hoping to achieve a run time of 4 – 4.5 hours.  It will be a great atmosphere I’m sure, and the family will get to enjoy the race from the grandstands. 

Ben’s Marathon T-shirt

I am part of the Dementia Revolution groups on social media, and we have been a great support for each other. We have also received a lot of encouragement from Scott Mitchell – Barbara Windor’s husband.  After the marathon the Dementia Revolution team are having a party to celebrate.   

“I would love to keep on running, and to keep on raising money for Dementia Support over several marathons.”

Ben is number 27496 – see if you can spot him on Sunday 28th April!

He is fundraising for Dementia Support and the dementia revolution. His sponsorship page can be found online:

High Sheriff thanks our volunteers

On the 11th February the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Caroline Nicholls DL, attended a thank you lunch and commended the volunteers for their amazing dedication. 

She spoke of the first time she visited Sage House before it was completed, as an empty shell with a vision of providing complete dementia care under one roof. 

The vision is now achieved; it is bright, welcoming and it was an honour to be at the official opening back in May 2018.  It is a facility I wish was around when my mother had dementia.  We were complete novices all those years ago and somewhere like Sage House would have been perfect for us to get help and advice. 

The work of the volunteers is what makes charities like Dementia Support special; it is what makes West Sussex special. It engages our community and you should all be very proud.”

Charity Chairman and Founder, Anthony Wickins, also thanked the volunteers for their contributions and support for the charity.  As well as a team of staff, Dementia Support have 55 volunteers who support the dementia activities, café, office administration, fundraising, befriending, and information and advice service.   

Sylvia Worden has been involved with the charity since its early stages.  She spoke about how it has also been a support for her to volunteer following the death of her husband, who had dementia. 

“It has been a tremendous help to me since Bill died last year.  Sage House is a very positive place; we are like a family.  I support people through the befriending ‘chatter tables’.  People need to be able to talk about dementia and know that we can live well with dementia.”

Another volunteer, Angela Natoli, whose husband lives with dementia and is in a nursing home, helps in the Sage House Café: “I see carers and families come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders; I know how they feel and I volunteer so I can give something back, even if it is just getting them a coffee and providing a friendly ear in the café.  Sage House is a happy place and it shows that dementia doesn’t always need to be doom and gloom.”

The High Sheriff also met two art students from the University of Chichester – Chloe Davies and Nafisa Dewan, who are at Sage House on a work placement as part of their degree.  They run art sessions working towards a project for a group living with dementia and their carers; this is the third art placement with the university and the cross over of generations is a huge success.  

A Union of Caring Angels – Guardian Angels Care choose Dementia Support as their Charity of the Year

Local home care providers – Guardian Angels Carers, have chosen local dementia charity Dementia Support as their Charity of the Year for 2018/19.

Nicola Godwin and her team of ‘Angels’, including dog Bella the mascot, visited Sage House in Tangmere, where Dementia Support provide their services, to kick start their partnership on the 15th November.  Their aim is to raise £5,000 over the next twelve months, and the team have plenty of fundraising ideas. 

The Angels have already fundraised at a Bonfire Night and a street collection in Arundel.  They also have plans to hold a charity football match with Chichester Ladies Club, sell home-made Christmas wreaths, do a sponsored self-defence class, and two daring ‘angels’ and going to do a parachute jump.

The team are also kindly volunteering their time and helping at various events; they will be volunteering at the Sage House Christmas Fayre on Saturday 1st December. 

Guardian Angels Care was established by ex-Olympic sailor Christina Bassadone; through personal experience she saw the limited care on offer and decided to set up a care company that provided compassionate, professional care, and helped clients retain their independence, dignity and individuality.

The team have chosen Dementia Support as they see dementia every day and the impact it has on people’s lives. They are all Dementia Friend trained, which increases awareness and understanding about dementia.

Nicola Godwin, Recruitment Co-ordinator, said “we see carers supporting all stages of dementia on a daily basis and it just highlights to us how important dementia care is.  We are very impressed with what is offered at Sage House and we are delighted to be involved.  This is a great partnership for us; we can refer our own carers and families to Sage House to access the support there, and we can help provide information about having care at home.”

Lesley-Anne Lloyd, Fundraising at Dementia Support, spoke about the benefit the partnership will have for the charity: “we are thrilled that Guardian Angels Care have chosen Dementia Support as their charity of the year.  Not only have they pledged that they will raise a significant amount of money, but they are also volunteering to help with our fundraising efforts as well”.  

Sage House is officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex

Biking Builders Cycle 26 miles for Dementia Support

A team from local construction company Ascia Construction successfully completed their sponsored bike ride on 25th February for West Sussex charity – Dementia Support.

The biking builders were very fortunate to have pleasant weather for the ride, although a bit cold. They started out at nine in the morning and trekked from Rowlands Castle through Kingley Vale, Goodwood and down into Boxgrove and Tangmere, finishing at the Dementia Support Hub after midday.

The builders were greeted by their families, the Dementia Support Team and Chairman of Trustees, as they came over the finishing line. Muddy but happy to have achieved their goal, they were also rewarded with an amazing bespoke cake, kindly made by Lynn Ward from Covers Builders Merchants.

Ascia are currently building the new Dementia Support Hub in Tangmere, near Chichester. For many of the building team there is a personal drive to complete the Hub and help with fundraising for the charity as some of their family members have dementia. They have raised £1,652 for their sponsored bike ride.

Tim Brown, Site Manager, spoke about the ride: “It went really well, we were very lucky with the weather and had a great journey down to the Hub. It was great to see everyone turn up to welcome us over the finishing line. We were caked in mud and appreciated the hot drinks and cake!”

The Managing Director, Neil Cole, said: “We can see what a great charity Dementia Support is and how they enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for local people living with dementia. As a local business it is great to be supporting a local charity, especially as we are already so involved with creating this new facility.”

Lesley-Anne Lloyd, Head of Corporate Fundraising, spoke of her appreciation: “Thank you to our amazing biking builders for fundraising for the Dementia Support Hub, it means a great deal to us all and we are extremely grateful. We have a great partnership with Ascia and we appreciate their hard work and dedication to our customers.”

New Hub Build Blog

#DSBuild Week 7; The walls are in – take a look at our curves!


#DSBuild Week 6 The Hub is really starting to take shape now. Rooms are starting to appear, as are windows and doors where there weren’t windows and doors – its very exciting! Roll on spring 2018 when we open!

#DSBuild Week 5 – some before and after photos of the renovation work in the Hub. You can really start to see it all taking shape. Thank you to the Ascia Team for their great work


#DSBuild week 4 – we have walls! The new Hub is taking shape. These rooms will be the Memory Assessment Service and Consultation Rooms for information and advice. Looking good


#DSBuild Day 23 – Some of the walls are going in and they are core drilling the slab as we speak – noisy but essential work! Big thanks to builders Ascia for working around our customers so we can maintain our activities here at the Hub!

#DSBuild Day 18 – Hard hats were adorned for our first informal site review which went very well – as you can see smiles from Ascia’s Site Manager Tim, our Architect Nigel as well as two of #Dementia Support’s Trustees!

#DSBuild We are now in week 2 and walls are being pulled down, moved, rebuilt! The main work going on is a sound proof wall between the occupied and the unoccupied part of the Hub, so we can continue our activities and services without being disturbed by the building work. This will also seperate the units once the new Hub is open.

#DSBuild It has only been a week and there is already a huge difference. Ascia Contruction have done a sterling job clearing the Hub – take a look at these progress photos:


#DSBuild Day 5 – New staff uniforms have arrived!!

Award winning Singing for the Soul

A new community event is bringing together the residents of Tangmere and people living with dementia.  Singing for the Soul is a social singing group for the over 50s and people living with dementia. The group has been organised by Dementia Support volunteer and Tangmere resident – Sue Saunders, who was inspired by a community singing group in Southbourne.

After seeing how the Southbourne singing group was run and their success, I wanted to emulate something similar in my local village of Tangmere.   Everyone who comes gets fully involved and regularly attends each week; it provides company for people who were previously isolated.”

Sue and her fellow volunteers were delighted to win the Observer Community Award for Best Community Event. It was a pleasant surprise as the group is relatively new (started September 2017), but it demonstrates how valuable and well regarded it is in the local community.

The purpose of Singing for the Soul is to provide opportunities to sing and socialise for people over 50 years old, without being a formal choir.

Research into community singing groups (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2012) showed noticeable wellbeing and mental health benefits for those attending.

One attendee spoke of her experience: “I thoroughly enjoyed it; it is a very uplifting, ‘leave a smile on your face’ event.”

Another attendee said: “Gets me out to meet others who enjoy singing in a group; I really enjoy it.”

The group is also dementia friendly which fits with the work of charity – Dementia Support, which is based in Tangmere.   People with dementia have a special ability to remember songs, and music becomes a route to communication and engagement. Singing can help lift well-being during and after the session.

They meet every Monday afternoon, 2-4pm in the Tangmere Village Centre. It costs £2.50 per person to attend, with refreshments and homemade cake included.

Volunteers thanked by High Sheriff

Volunteers for local charity Dementia Support were thanked for their hard work during 2017 at a celebration attended by the West Sussex High Sheriff, Lady Emma Barnard.

The volunteers give their skills and time and support the charity’s team to provide dementia wellbeing activities at the Dementia Support Hub in Tangmere. The sessions include: singing, art, socialising, gentle exercising and befriending – all of which provide a therapeutic benefit for people living with dementia, and their families and carers.

Volunteers range from people helping with teas and coffees, co-ordinating the singing group to teaching people how to paint with watercolours. Dementia Support also works with local businesses and organisations to offer volunteering opportunities, such as providing a work placement for Fine Art students at the University of Chichester.

The West Sussex High Sheriff, Lady Emma Barnard, attended the Volunteer Thank You event with her PA and local magistrate Julia Mansergh. They were both very impressed by the vision of the charity, the dementia services that will be provided by the Hub and the dedication of the volunteers.

Lady Emma personally thanked the volunteers for their tireless work for the charity, and for providing much needed support for people living with dementia:

“What an amazing place, and what a wonderful group of people you are! It is very exciting to witness the start of this great enterprise, which will make an enormous difference to so many in West Sussex.”

Together with the volunteers’ help, Dementia Support are already reducing the isolation and loneliness felt by people living with dementia; the charity is also improving access to information and advice and increasing opportunities to improve wellbeing.

Mediterranean Marathon for Dementia Support

Glitz and Glamour at Studio 54 – disco-ing for dementia

Therese McCall has been personally affected by dementia following the diagnosis and consequent death of her mother, and she feels strongly about providing better dementia care.

Together with a group of friends, Therese decided to organise a fundraising evening for local charity – Dementia Support.

Therese heard about this young charity’s vision to provide complete dementia services under one roof and was inspired to support them achieve their goal.

The Dementia Support Hub will provide services such as Memory Assessment, Community Café and Garden, early onset dementia services, information and advice, and therapeutic and social activities for the West Sussex community.


Therese spoke about her plans to fundraise and how the group of friends came up with the idea of replicating the famous 1970s New York nightclub – Studio 54.


“I got together a few of my local friends all who had been affected by dementia in one way or another.  Mariella Fleming, who runs Southend Barns, offered to help coordinate the event. Obviously with her experience and organisational skills, we knew we would be able to put on a great occasion.   Philippa Gogarty who is the founder and co-owner of Microscooter offered her help as did Caroline Andrews, Patricia Garratt who runs her own successful property business and Sandra McKirgan all who have accountancy backgrounds.

In my past life I have worked as the events organiser for The Prince’s Trust and Comic Relief, so between us all we knew how to put on a good fundraiser.”


“We came up with the idea of doing a nightclub themed event and in our planning came across the iconic notorious seventies New York nightclub – Studio 54.  This was the one where Bianca Jagger rode in on a white horse one evening!   We didn’t think we could get away with a horse but we managed to source over 30 glitter balls and one huge Glitter ball that was over 1 metre diameter and so heavy it took 4 men to lift it.

Jeremy Pardey, the CEO of Butlins in Bognor Regis was incredibly generous offering us the conference centre at Butlins free of charge for our venue, as well as many other components of the event.

The place was transformed with glitter balls, light-up dance floor, and 1970s memorabilia into a replica Studio 54 Nightclub. Other local businesses helped tremendously.  Phil Haddow of Haddow Electrical provided all the electrics and sound system free of charge which allowed us to maximise our profits from our ticket prices in aid of Dementia Support.  We managed to source some fantastic auction prizes from both local and more national sources, and ran the auction online and on the night to help raise more funds for the charity.”


“The evening was a huge success; everyone had a brilliant time partying and dancing to the great sounds of Brutus Gold, a famous Manchester act who had literally everyone on the dance floor.  Thank you to everyone who was involved and attended. We all had such a fun time organising it, we are already planning to do another one!


Over all the evening made a whopping great £23,000 profit all of which will go directly to helping create the Dementia Support Hub which is fantastic.”


Therese gave an insight into what it was like to be affected by dementia when her mother was diagnosed with the disease:

“I spent the past 8 years watching my mum slowly disintegrate and disappear in front of me as she was overtaken by this terrible disease that is Dementia.  Bit by bit her character and personality disappeared.  She became totally unable to look after herself.   It was terrible to witness.   When mum was deteriorating I found there was very little coordinated help out there and I felt adrift and very lonely.


When mum finally passed away after her long battle I really wanted to do something to help others who were in the same situation as me to find some help and support. That’s when I heard about Dementia Support and their plans for the new Hub.  And that’s when the idea of putting together a fun fundraising evening, where we could get everyone together, raise awareness and raise money.”


Dementia Support is extremely grateful to Therese and her friends for their fundraising, and is delighted to announce that Therese is now a member of the Fundraising Advisory Board.