Dementia UK thank Central England Co-op for five figure donation as Helpline sees sharp rise in calls

A charity, dedicated to supporting people with dementia and their loved ones, has thanked Central England Co-op for a special donation that has helped it deal with a rise in calls to its Helpline.

The retailer has been in partnership with Dementia UK for the last two and a half years and in that time, thanks to the generosity of colleagues, Members and customers, it has donated over £1.3 million to the cause.

Dementia UK supports families affected by dementia through local services and its Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, which is open to anyone with queries or concerns about dementia and staffed by specialist dementia nurses – called Admiral Nurses.

At the onset of the current crisis, Central England Co-op was keen to support its partner as it faced an expected uplift in demand to its Helpline as people with dementia, their loved ones and carers deal with the increased strain, confusion and anxiety caused by these testing times.

Therefore, the Society made an immediate £25,000 donation to enable them to fully staff their Helpline seven days a week.

Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and Chief Executive at Dementia UK, said: “I would like to pass on my sincere gratitude to everyone at Central England Co-op for their support at this incredibly difficult time for us all, and in particular for families facing dementia. It means such a lot to us.

“The donation of £25,000 will enable an additional Admiral Nurse to take calls on our national Helpline over the next 12 weeks when we expect an increase in calls of at least 30% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It will enable us to directly support many more families who are struggling and alone, with no one else to turn to, in what has become a very isolating and challenging time. We have received a significant number of calls already relating to the current pandemic.

“In early March the number of calls relating to the current crisis was around 30%, this week we are predicting the number of calls to have reached around 70%. Central England Co-op’s support will enable us to be there for those callers.”

As well as the immediate donation to help Dementia UK, Central England Co-op will continue to work with its charity partner where it can in the coming weeks to support its fantastic work in the communities it serves.

Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive at Central England Co-op, said: “As the demand for the great work and expertise of Dementia UK’s team of Admiral Nurses and Helpline inevitably increases during these worrying and uncertain times, Central England Co-op was determined to throw our support behind the charity.

“I’m so glad this donation has been so gratefully received and is already making a positive difference to the help Dementia UK can offer those people with dementia and their families.”

People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting

You can find out more about Dementia UK and how to access their Helpline at

*The types of questions and concerns the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline has handled relating to the Covid-19 outbreak so far include:

  • How to ensure that a person living with dementia is able to reduce the chance of getting COVID-19 by social distancing. Many people with dementia are unable to remember that they should not be leaving their homes
  • Concerns regarding how to ensure people living with dementia wash their hands regularly 
  • Carers asking for advice regarding how to keep a person living with dementia active and stimulated as they have to be at home
  • Carers worried who will care for their loved ones if they have to isolate themselves or get the virus themselves
  • Carers often distressed if unable to visit loved ones in care homes or hospital
  • Concerns about professional carers spreading the virus as they visit many people each day 
  • Carers who are self-isolating and unable to spend time with loved ones who are receiving end of life care. 

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve our Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

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