Young Onset Dementia Activists celebrate Tesco grant win

3 women sitting on an open air bus

South East London Mind’s Young Onset Dementia Activists (YODAs) have secured a vital grant of £1,500 from Tesco’s Stronger Starts initiative. This incredible boost will empower the group to continue providing vital support and activities for people living with young onset dementia in the London boroughs of Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

The YODAs are a beacon of hope for people diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65. Unlike many services, they understand the unique challenges younger people with dementia encounter, offering a supportive space for connection, shared experiences, and fun. From dance classes and bowling trips to social lunches and outings, the YODAs combat isolation and empower members to live life to the fullest.

A lifeline of support

The Tesco grant comes at a crucial time. As Saira Addison, Service Manager at South East London Mind, highlights: “Most dementia services are geared towards older adults, leaving a gap in support for younger individuals. YODA fills this gap, addressing issues specific to their situation, like loss of work and feelings of isolation and hopelessness.”

The impact of the YODAs extends far beyond activities. The simple act of leaving home to join the group can significantly improve mental and emotional well-being. As one YODA shared, “Without YODA, I would still be lost at sea. But they threw me a lifeline.”

Funding makes a difference

The £1,500 grant will directly translate into more activities, resources, and opportunities for the YODAs. This will allow them to:

  • Organise outings and events tailored to their members’ interests.
  • Offer additional resources and information for the YODAs and their families.

Celebrating success

The Tesco grant win is a testament to the dedication of the YODAs and South East London Mind. The win also recognises the critical need for support services tailored to young people living with dementia.

Get involved!

Want to support the YODAs and their incredible work? There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Donate: Every contribution, big or small, makes a difference. 
  • Spread the word: Share this article and raise awareness about young onset dementia and the vital role of the YODAs.
  • Volunteer: If you have time and skills to offer, consider volunteering with South East London Mind.

Together, we can help ensure that the YODAs continue to provide a lifeline of support and joy for people living with Young Onset Dementia in South East London.