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Dementia patients are set to benefit at Scunthorpe hospital thanks to a local department store


Rachel day and Allison Urch

The town’s M&S store pledged its support to help raise money for the hospital’s official charity, The Health Tree Foundation (HTF). Any money raised will go towards the Golden Leaves Appeal, which helps those patients with dementia. 

Charity manager Clare Woodard said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by M&S as its charity of the year for 2019. Our aim is to purchase more of the interactive therapy units we already have so more wards have access to them.” 

RITA – also known as Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities – is a touch screen which is pre-loaded with software which can be used by patients themselves or with nurses/therapists/carers. 

The idea is to engage them with a wide variety of activities including relaxation music, BBC archive clips, photos, interactive games, and much more. It also has an easy to use ‘life collage’ or life story book’ facility, which can be completed by relatives to further personalise care. 

M&S administration assistant Allison Urch said: “I am really looking forward to getting behind the charity. All of the staff are really behind it as well. A lot of us have been affected by dementia so we really want to help raise money for this appeal.” 

Claire said patients with dementia can become even more disorientated, confused and irritated when they are in hospital. 

“We want to ensure their stay with us is as pleasant as possible and purchasing additional RITA’s will help us do that.” 

M&S staff will be doing an array of fundraising events throughout the year to help raise funds for an additional RITA.

If you would like to donate to the Golden Leaves appeal please visit: 


If you would like to know more about the appeal, please contact the Health Tree Foundation team on: 03033 304514.


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