Dungannon couple’s ‘Big Silage Fest’ raises £200 for Alzheimer’s Society

The Smith family pictured with silage volunteer Rob Graham from Banbridge who took part in the BIG Silage Fest and raised �200 for Alzheimers Society.
The Smith family pictured with silage volunteer Rob Graham from Banbridge who took part in the BIG Silage Fest and raised �200 for Alzheimers Society.

A Dungannon couple who took on the challenge of the ‘Big Silage Fest’ have raised much needed funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Graham and Ethel Smith have a long labour intensive two hour draw every year from their farm in Moira to The Birches farm in Dungannon and so this year they decided to make it a whole lot of fun and raise funds for a cause very close to their hearts.

Using social media, they made a call out to their friends and family in the farming community to donate their time and draw one load of silage. In return, the Smith family donated money to Alzheimer’s Society for each load delivered to their farm.

So with two harvesters, six volunteers, six tractors, six silage trailers, six full tanks of diesel, 250 miles, many hearty dinners, lots of laughs, and several hours later the job was complete, phew!, and a lovely £200 raised for Alzheimer’s Society.

Ethel said: “We really enjoyed the event and were so pleased with the help and support we received on the day. We have personal experience of dementia in our family and we all know many people in our communities who are affected in some way either with a diagnosis themselves or who are carers. We wanted to do something to help.

“Silage season is a great time of the year when farmers traditionally come together to help one another and we thought why not try to raise funds and awareness for people affected by this truly dreadful disease. Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them. I am very proud that our fundraising efforts for the charity will help make a real difference.”

Maeveen Brown, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society in Dungannon said: “We are extremely grateful to Graham and Ethel, all the time and energy they put into Silage Fest for Alzheimer’s Society was fantastic. As a charity, we rely on the generosity of families like the Smith’s and indeed the wider farming community to help us reach and support people to live well with dementia today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow.

“The Silage Fest event was fabulous for us in many ways. It was a fairly unique idea and that in itself generates a lot of interest and therefore awareness, it helps us reach rural areas that have been historically difficult for us to access and the money raised helps us to continue our support services in the local area. We sincerely thank the Smiths and we are absolutely delighted that they have decided to stay on and volunteer for our fundraising team long term.

“If you would like to join the Smith family and champion the rights of people affected by dementia, then please contact us as soon as possible. We have a lot of work to do to defeat this disease, but we can do it with your help.”

Contact Maeveen on 07912295750 or maeveen.brown@alzheimers.org.uk