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United Against Dementia!

Coincidentally during Dementia Action Week our Alzheimer’s Society Collection Box required emptying.  The contents revealed a grand total of £79 (Rounded Up)!!!  The Alzheimer’s Society actively campaign for people living with dementia, fund research to develop a cure and deliver vital support services across the UK!  A huge thank you to all of our customers who have donated money/change to such a fantastic cause.

Marvellous May!

As many of you know, May is an extremely busy month here at Esther Martin.  Not only is it our busiest trading period outside of November and December, but it’s also Dementia Action Week or DAW for short (Previously Dementia Awareness Week). 

As members of 3 different Dementia Action Alliances, we are committed to improving the lives of our customers who are living with dementia and their carers on a daily basis however, DAW allows us to take time out from Esther Martin HQ to organise, participate and volunteer in other activities taking place across the North West.  When it comes to Dementia our mission here is to help people to ‘live well’ and this year we did not disappoint:

Laura is co-founder of D-CaFF; ‘A lovely place to meet for people living with dementia, their carers, family and friends’ and this year the team launched DAW in Bury with a celebration of the D-CaFF’s 2nd birthday.  The theme was ‘All aboard the Blackpool Belle’.  There was singing, ice cream, photo cardboard cut outs, cheeky postcards, sand, a fabulous reminiscence presentation and yes…there was even dancing!!!  100 people made the ‘trip’and everyone had a brilliant time!  Laura also led on this month’s D-CaFF; The quieter side for people more progressed on their journey.  Over 30 members helped paint/decorate ‘Rammy Rocks’ with forget-me-nots and the D-CaFF logo.  Local school children then hid the rocks far and wide (Furthest was Central Park, NY) with a view to raising awareness of dementia, reducing stigma and starting conversation.

During DAW Laura helped to organise the annual ‘Steam Train Reminiscence Trip’ on the East Lancashire Railway in partnership with Brian Topping from Dementia Friendly Rossendale.  This was the 3rd year Laura and Brian had run the event and it did not disappoint with more people than ever getting ‘on board’ to enjoy the trip!  It was great to see so many familiar faces as people look forward to the trip each year and we even had a request to look into a Christmas trip!

Laura also participated in her first Esther Martin 5 for 5 birthday challenge race for Age UK in Liverpool – see more on this below – as well as representing Bury Dementia Action Alliance for the Radcliffe Rotary in their Annual Carnival Parade.  The Radcliffe Rotarians have supported the Bury Dementia Action Alliance for the last 2 years providing donations towards the aforementioned Steam Train Reminiscence Trip.  After such generosity, it was nice to be able to return the support and show the community of Radcliffe what fantastic support the Rotarians provide throughout the Borough of Bury.

One run down…!

Well I did it!!!…First Esther Martin 5 for 5 Birthday Race was in Liverpool at the Rock n Roll 5k Event and the chosen Charity for this race was Age UK.  Age UK’s vision is to make the UK a great place to grow older. They do this by inspiring, supporting and enabling people in a number of ways.   I completed the race in 34.28 minutes…a great achievement given that I only started running back in January this year and the fact that it was also very hot…21 degrees!  The race took place on the day of the Royal Wedding and I love the commemorative medal I was awarded at the finish line.  I also bumped into the Prince and his future wife at the start line 😉 …I’m just pleased they made it back to Windsor in plenty of time!




Esther Martin 5 for 5 Birthday Challenge!

In August of this year (2018), Esther Martin will be celebrating 5 years of trade!  That’s right!  We will be 5 years old! 

We will of course mark the occasion in the usual way with a party and cake but here at EM we like to do things a little differently and so…to show our gratitude to all of our customers who have supported us on our journey thus far Laura has set herself the Challenge (Having only recently taken up running) of completing five x 5k races in the 5 main regions in which we trade across the Northwest to raise money for 5 different charities supporting older people both Nationally and Locally!

To confirm, the races are as follows:

  • 19th May 2018:    Liverpool – Rock n Roll 5k: Age UK  COMPLETED
  • 17th July 2018:     Preston – Lancashire Scorcher Evening 5k: Contact the Elderly 
  • 25th Aug 2018:     Blackpool – Illumination Night Run: Silver Line Helpline
  • 16th Sept 2018:     Greater Manchester – Bury 10k (That’s right 10k!!): D-CaFF
  • 2nd Dec 2018:       Blackburn –Mental Elf 5k: Lancashire Mind


If you would like to find out more information about the charities we are supporting then please click on the link (Charity name) underlined above.

Furthermore, if you would like to sponsor Laura then you can do so via the Virgin Money Giving Page using the following link:

Sponsor Laura

Updates will be provided throughout the course of the Challenge so watch this space!

In the meantime thanks to all of our customers, relatives, carers, colleagues, managers, suppliers and partners who have supported us on our journey so far.  We would not be able to reach these milestones without you!

Esther Martin turns 4 Years Old!

On August 11th this year (2017) Esther Martin turned 4!!!  HUGE THANKS to all who have travelled with us on the journey so far – there is no way we could continue to achieve these milestones without the continued support of  our customers, relatives, carers, managers and colleagues.  We look forward to another year together!

Local Recognition For D-CaFF!

MIB awardsIt was great news for the D-CaFF this May!  Not only were we celebrating our first birthday but we also received news that we had won the Made in Bury Community Award for ‘Best Community Project’.  We were presented with our award during Dementia Awareness Week and as Co-Founder of D-CaFF, Laura had this to say:

“While it is an honour to have received such recognition on both a local and national level, the real success for us is knowing the benefit we provide to the members of our community who repeatedly attend our café on a monthly basis – 75 people on average.  With the help of a dedicated team of volunteers – many of whom have experience caring for someone with dementia – the D-CaFF offers a safe and informal setting where people with dementia and their carers can relax, receive support, form friendships but most of all, have fun and live well.”

FMN Flowers 1The D-CaFF takes place on the second Friday of every month at Greenmount Cricket Club, Brandlesholme Road, BL8 4DX from 1:15pm to 3:15pm.

You may also have spotted throughout the month of May, the presence of our D-CaFF cast iron forget-me-nots in locations around the village to help promote Dementia Awareness Week 2017 and also show our commitment to the Dementia Friendly Communities Recognition Process, working towards achieving a Dementia Friendly Status here in Greenmount Village, Bury.



Dementia Awareness Week: May 2017

IMG_4255Well what a busy month we’ve had!!!  As the Spring/Summer season kicks in, May always tends to be one of our busiest months of the year here at Esther Martin however Laura also has commitments via her role as Chair of Bury Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) in the run up to Dementia Awareness Week, this year running from Sunday 14th – Saturday 20th May.  To kick start proceedings and to promote all the events planned across the week, Laura organised a singing flash mob in the Millgate Shopping Centre, Bury with over 40 people in attendance performing to the Beatles hit, ‘I get by with a little help from my friends‘.  The event was supported with an information stand in partnership with Persona Care & Support where close to 150 goody bags were handed out to people visiting the stand seeking support and advice.

steam trainLater that week, Laura had also helped to organise a Reminiscence Steam Train Trip on the East Lancashire Railway for people living with dementia and their carers, including afternoon tea.  The trip is run and organised in partnership with colleagues from Dementia Friendly Rossendale and after last years success an additional carriage was added to Friday’s trip which meant we were able to provide a relaxed, safe and fun journey for over 230 people from our borough.  Laura was incredibly proud to have been part of such a wonderful experience and had this to say:

REANNA 18“I just wanted to thank everyone again for all the events you have hosted this week  and the work you have all put in to help raise awareness, reduce stigma, improve lives and help the people of our borough to ‘live well’. As many of you know this will be my last Dementia Awareness Week as Chair of the Bury Dementia Action Alliance and I could not be more proud of what we have achieved this week. The theme for this week was ‘United against Dementia’ and I think we have showed as a Town that we are just exactly that! Sincere and heartfelt thanks to you all…Laura x”



Contribution to D-CaFF

DAW bracelets 2D-CaFF ValentinesIn May last year (2016) to help promote Dementia Awareness Week, Esther Martin donated the money raised from sales of our Diamante Link Bracelets to help support our local dementia cafe.  The money raised was recently presented to Joani Beale from D – CaFF, who runs the cafes and was used to pay for the room décor during their Valentines Fundraiser!

Poppy Appeal

poppy-appealIn the 4 weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday we joined forces with the British Legion and had a Poppy Collection at each of our clothes parties.  We managed to raise £77.23 in this short time.  The poppy is a powerful symbol – it is worn to commemorate the sacrifices of our Armed Forces and to show support to those still serving today and their loved ones.  Money raised through the Appeal goes directly to their welfare work, providing through-life care to anyone who currently serves in the British Armed Forces, who has previously served, and their families.

D-CaFF Finalist in Alzheimer’s Society Awards

awardsIt is with great delight that I share with you the fantastic news that Greenmount Village Community (GVC) D-CaFF, ‘a lovely place to meet for people with dementia, their carers, family and friends’ won Runner Up at this year’s Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards , under the Dementia Friendly Community Category: Rural.  I had the great pleasure along with three other volunteers of attending the ceremony and was so proud to have the work of all involved including our fantastic members recognised.  Our first café was in May and we have a regular attendance of 60 people on average.  There were over 400 applicants to the awards and so to be shortlisted to the top 3 is a fantastic achievement. As GVC Chairman Alistair Waddell said afterwards, “This certificate is for the whole Village, not just a small minority.  The work of the D-CaFF is there for all to use and enjoy.  This recognition at a National level goes to show that we are getting it right. “