FEARLESS fundraisers took on a gruelling challenge to kick-start plans for a specialist dementia centre for people in Tendring.

A grassroots charity is working on plans to create a dementia café in Thorpe-le-Soken.

The purpose-built centre would create a vital facility to support people living with the disease.

It was started by Emily-Jane Stapley who grew up in Thorpe and whose mum Joan has Alzheimer’s.

Emily-Jane recently formed a team to take part in a tough ‘Spartan Race’ obstacle course in London earlier this month to raise cash towards the scheme.

They climbed, crawled and dashed their way along the tough course, raising more than £700 in sponsorship cash.

It will go towards getting the dementia café scheme off the ground.

Runner Genalda Silva, who is part of the Dementia Café Thorpe-le-Soken charity team, said members were delighted to hit their target.

“We thought the event went really well,” she said.

“The race was very challenging because of the obstacles you have to get through, but it was nice to get through it as a team.

“We raised more than our target. We had a bucket collection going door to door and many of our donations came from Thorpe, so we want to say thank you to everybody who contributed.”

The charity needs to raise about £50,000 in total to cover the costs of the project.

Members are applying for grants alongside fundraising to help meet the target and a plot of land has already been earmarked for the centre in the village.

Genalda added: “We have to continue fundraising because we still need a lot of money, but we are determined.

“There is a long way to go but we cannot let people down who are living with and affected by dementia.”

Founder Emily-Jane Stapley said she started the scheme after finding a lack of specialist support while attending groups with her mum.