A GRASSROOTS charity is raising cash to create a dementia centre for people in Tendring.

Dementia Cafe Thorpe-Le-Soken is working to raise funds to develop a purpose-built centre in the village.

Founder Emily-Jane Stapley was inspired to come up with the plan while supporting her mum, Joan, through her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

She said: “My mum is dying very slowly, so we are saying goodbye to one another over the years.

“I have taken her to various groups, but noticed there was a real gap in what was available to help people living with this cruel disease.

“A lot of the meetings are in other facilities, which can be unsuitable.

“Sometimes, they are in chilly churches and meetings can be cancelled because the facility is needed for something else.

“Regularity is important for users and this can leave their routines in tatters.

“We are not breaking new ground. There are purpose-built dementia cafes around the country, but we think this is something important to provide.

“The disease can leave people feeling completely isolated and this sort of thing can make a huge difference to their lives.”

Emily-Jane, who grew up in Thorpe and now lives in London, formed the charity to push the plan forward. A plot of land has been earmarked in Thorpe for the new centre.

The total cost of the project is expected to be about £50,000.

The charity hopes to fundraise, as well as applying for a grant to help hit the target.

Once completed, it will be run as a not-for-profit resource for people to take part in sessions and meetings.

The charity has a team taking part in the gruelling Spartan Race in April to raise cash for the cause.

Volunteers can join the fundraisers in taking part by registering at spartanraceuk.uk People can also sponsor their efforts, with cash going straight to the Dementia Cafe cause, at chuffed.org/project/spartanrace- for-the-dementia-cafe-tls

They can also write to: FAO Ms Emily-Jane Stapley, CEO, Davenport House, 16 Pepper Street, London, E14 9RP.

A website has just been launched to keep people updated at dementiacafe.co.uk