A WOMAN who runs a dementia activity club in Lostwithiel celebrated her 50th birthday by asking for charity donations instead of presents – raising £1,000 in the process.
Karen Stanford hosted a garden party fundraiser as part of her celebrations and the money raised was donated to Lostwithiel's Cowbridge Nursing Home, Memory Matters South West and FLEET – three charities close to her heart.
"I wanted to do something worthwhile to mark my 50th birthday and as it is very hard to get funding for worthy causes, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to raise some funds," she said. "I facilitate a dementia activity club in Lostwithiel on behalf of Memory Matters South West and know how donations like this can really make a difference, and this is why I wanted people to donate money rather than give me presents."
Karen's donation to Memory Matters South West will go towards resources and materials for the weekly activity club in Lostwithiel which she runs every Wednesday from 10am to 4pm.
"We were very touched that Karen chose to dedicate her birthday to such a worthy cause," Memory Matters South West's Laura Walker said.
"Memory Matters is working hard to develop day clubs that serve those with mild to moderate dementia in Cornwall."
Karen, who lives in Bodmin, chose FLEET as a beneficiary having worked for South West Ambulance Service in the past and also Cowbridge Nursing Home in Lostwithiel as they supported her father in-law until his recent passing.
"The party was a great success despite the rain," Karen said. "There must have been more than 100 people there at one point and everybody really enjoyed themselves with live music from Barefoot Brass.
"My partner Shaun and I were overwhelmed with the generosity of friends and family and a huge thank you to local businesses that donated raffle prizes. We may even do this again next year."