Best foot forward for memory walk

Staff at NFU Mutual’s Belfast claims centre took part in a memory walk throughout September to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

The team chose Alzheimer’s Society as their nominated charity for the year, and are looking to hit a fundraising total of £1,500 over the next six months.

The memory walk is just one of the activities the team has organised to help reach their goal. Participants and sponsors have donated money throughout the month-long event, with 14 employee taking part to raise a total of £740 so far.

The fundraising has been supported by a £250 donation from NFU Mutual’s Community Giving Fund, which was set up in 2005 to support causes that make important differences in the communities where NFU Mutual staff and Agents live and work.

Despite lockdown easing, many people living with dementia remain cut off from their families, their communities and the support networks they rely on. This is having a devastating impact on their wellbeing. These funds will help to make sure the Alzheimer’s Society will be there to put a virtual arm around the shoulders of people with dementia and reassure them that they aren’t alone.

Business-wide, NFU Mutual is committed to help in the fight against Dementia, being an active part of Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Insurance United Against Dementia’ scheme. This brings together insurance businesses with the aim of funding vital research and recruiting four million Dementia Friends to help those living with the disease.

In 2019, 430 NFU Mutual employees volunteered to become Dementia Friends, enabling both them and their colleagues to better support vulnerable customers and anyone affected by dementia.

The fundraiser was organised by Claims Handler Mandy Keymer and Operational Support Assistant Alexandra Paden, who are part of NFU Mutual Belfast’s ‘Great Place to Work’ committee.

Mandy said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Alzheimer’s Society and hope our donations will help them to continue to provide their vital support at this challenging time.

“The pandemic has made it more difficult for us to run our usual fundraising activities, but we wanted to organise something that would both benefit our chosen charity and allow us to help employees to get out and about to support their mental and physical wellbeing. The uptake has been fantastic and it’s great to see the team come together to support such an important cause.”

Emma Russ, Regional Community Fundraising Manager in Northern Ireland for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We know that people living with dementia have been one of the most affected groups by COVID-19 and whilst the current situation has been difficult for fundraising, the demand for our services has increased. That’s why we are so grateful to the staff at NFU Mutual for all of their fundraising efforts.

“Many of the fundraising activities that people had planned to do for us stopped overnight, so the fact that staff at NFU Mutual continued their plans (albeit in slightly different ways) means so much to us as a charity.

“ I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everybody that got involved in the Memory Walk and to the NFU Mutual Community Giving Fund for the £250 donation too – your support really does help us to support people affected by Dementia across Northern Ireland now, when they need us most.”