THE charitable arm of a major Swindon-based insurance giant has pledged to donate another £100,000 to Dementia UK.

This is part of a three-year partnership with the charity that saw grants total £425,000 along with separate donations of more than £23,500.

The funding has helped pay for the charity’s admiral nurse dementia helpline, which is a support service for those living with dementia and their families.

When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, admiral nurses work alongside them, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

Demand for the helpline soared in the 12 months that followed the UK’s first lockdown, with over 31 per cent more people accessing the service.

Over the same period, over 27,000 users benefitted from Dementia UK’s support though a backlog of cases means many more need help.

Nearly one in ten calls over the past 15 months were related to Covid-19 and admiral nurses needing to spend 50 per cent more time with callers due to the complex nature of enquiries and the carers’ stress levels.

The main reasons for calls into the service included difficulties in getting a diagnosis for their loved one so they can access care, how to manage the behaviours of relatives when they are anxious or agitated, and carers needing emotional support to help them through the isolation and distress of lockdown.

Head of Zurich Community Trust Steve Grimmett said: "We’re only too happy to support such a vital charity at such a critical time.

"We know from our work with Dementia UK that people living with dementia and their families are under immense pressure which means services such as this become invaluable.”

As well as providing financial support, the trust has offered a wider package of support to Dementia UK and other charities, including includes access to training material and ZCTs Learning Hub with courses and webinars ran by external experts.

Zurich employees have delivered skills based training including a digital marketing surgery and an external PR workshop.

Through Zurich UK’s Apprenticeship Levy, ZCT has also enabled three Dementia UK staff to enrol on a Diploma in Fundraising, helping the charity to build more sustainable donor relationships to increase the work it does for families living with dementia.

CEO and chief admiral nurse at Dementia UK Dr Hilda Hayo added: “We have been a charity partner of Zurich Community Trust for three years and throughout this time, our relationship has grown from strength to strength.

"Dementia UK is the only charity dedicated to caring for families affected by dementia through admiral nurses and we are hugely grateful for ZCT’s support, not least because of the additional pressures faced over the past 16 months and the record levels of calls we’ve been handling.”