A BARNSLEY-BASED charity which supports carers and dementia sufferers across the borough has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for their tireless work over the past year.

Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support (BIADS) was due to celebrate its ten-year anniversary later this year but due to lockdown restrictions their plans have been scuppered.

Linda Pattison, the chief officer at BIADS, said: “We’ve been closed since March time but we left the offices a week before lockdown was announced, and we made sure that we had everything in order.

“We have a daycare centre that we opened just before Covid-19 but obviously due to restrictions we aren’t actually able to open this up right now, but there are over services still running over the phone.

“We’ve been in contact with carers over the phone in our carer support programme, offering them advice and answering any questions that they may have.

“We’re desperate to get things back on track and the plan is to get things open in October but we’re making tentative steps to ensure that all the restrictions are in place.”

Before lockdown hit, BIADS had a host of activities on offer for those who needed it most, from gym sessions to holidays.

“We had an activity service, funded through the lottery, for sufferers of dementia and their carers and that was really well received,” she added.

“There were 17 different activities in total, from drop-in sessions to the gym, and holidays to a multi-sensory room – there was something for everyone.

“But then Covid-19 hit and it was hard for all of us, it’s so hard for carers to explain to someone with dementia the lockdown and then that puts them in a difficult position too – we all went to get back so we can offer our support face-to-face.”

Upon hearing of the nomination in the Charity of the Year category, Linda added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits that someone has thought to nominate us.

“We’re just going on ten years that we’ve been in existence so it’s fantastic that someone thinks we’re worthy of being nominated.”