A MEMBER of a dementia support and research charity opened her doors to the community last week to raise funds to help tackle the ‘shocking’ disease.

Sandie Wirtz, 66, hosted a cupcake sale at her home in Vernham Dean on Tuesday, June 18 with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society, a charity that Sandie has been a member of for more than three years.

Speaking after the event, she said: “This is the third year I’ve done it.

“I sort of advertise throughout the parish and open my house and garden and get an army of people to make cupcakes.”

Despite the rain, guests turned out in force and helped raise £443 for the charity.

Sandie also hopes her efforts will increase awareness of the disease and its prevalence — and not just among the elderly.

“I just want to bring people’s attention to it and to Alzheimer’s generally.

“And the fact that really knocked me for six is that in the time it takes you to bake a try of cupcakes, six people are diagnosed with dementia. Which is quite a shocking statistic.

“Young people think it’s an older people’s disease but it’s not. People in their 30s and in their 40s are being diagnosed. And that’s really why I want to flag it up.”

“It’s just a shocking disease — to just watch some one slowly fall away from you, bit by bit.”

For more information on the Alzheimer’s Society, go to alzheimers.org.uk.