Mother’s illness inspires Catterick Garrison charity event

Clare's mum Celia with a care worker.

A mother’s dementia diagnosis has prompted her daughter to raise money for charity.

Clare Smith’s mum Celia developed early onset dementia in around 2009 when she was 53.

On September 23, Clare, 33, from West Witton, will hold a fundraising evening at the Travaux Sports and Social Club in Catterick Garrison. The event will raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Clare said she completed the Wensleydale Memory Walk last year, which raised more than £3,000. Afterwards, she decided she wanted to organise an event herself.

She said: “I know a few people in the local area that have been affected by dementia, having family members with the disease.

“For me, it’s my mum Celia. It was just small things at first. None of the doctors she saw were able to diagnose her condition; she rapidly then went down hill over a couple of years and eventually they came to the conclusion that it was early onset dementia. Soon after she had to go into palliative care.”

Clare added: “It especially hit my dad hard when my mum became ill as they were childhood sweethearts and had been together for 40 years or so.

“Now was the time they were meant to be enjoying their lives and they had plans to live by the sea somewhere.

“I have two girls and I just feel so sad that she will never be able to get to know them properly and that I am not able to have that grown up mother/daughter relationship that all my friends have, simple things like going shopping together, going out for coffee etc.”

Clare said she admired the work done by the Alzheimer’s Society, including the research into cure and prevention, along with advice and support they provide and raising awareness about the disease.

“It’s really hard to know how to cope, when something like that happens. There’s nothing I can do to make my mum better, but perhaps I can try and help in other ways by raising awareness, and funds

The event, which starts at 6pm, is free to enter and family friendly.

There will be live music, a disco, raffle, pool knockouts, tombola and more.

There are lots of great prizes which have been donated by local businesses, including afternoon teas, meals, vouchers and lots more.

There will be a bus from Leyburn at 5.30 pm, returning at midnight.

People can contact Clare direct on 07964066628 if the wish to book spaces.