Simonstone pupil's touching letter inspires fund-raiser for local dementia charity

A bright and kind little girl from Simonstone is hoping to help others create colourful memories with loved ones suffering from dementia, in memory of her great-grandma.
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Simonstone CE Primary School pupil Poppy Booth (9) wrote a touching and inspirational letter to the School Council about why she and her classmates should raise funds for "My Colourful Memories", a dementia charity based in Oswaldtwistle.

Pupils had been asked to write about which charities the school should fund-raise for - split into three categories - local, national and global.

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As Alzheimer’s affects many people across the country, Poppy’s letter was put into the national rather than local category for fund-raising.

Poppy Booth with Neil Floyd, mum Jacqueline Booth and headteacher Christine Smith (left)Poppy Booth with Neil Floyd, mum Jacqueline Booth and headteacher Christine Smith (left)
Poppy Booth with Neil Floyd, mum Jacqueline Booth and headteacher Christine Smith (left)

Her letter stated: "The charity that I have chosen is very close to my own heart. But first I would like to tell you about my great-grandma. My great-grandma was the best. I loved her so much. She was very creative and fun. She was a fabulous baker, a wonderful artist and incredibly imaginative.

"Unfortunately my great-grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, a physical disease that affects the brain. My great-grandma started to have problems with remembering. She could not bake or paint anymore. She forgot how to read and write, dress herself, the names of things and people and how to walk.

"Very sadly, my great-grandma passed away last year. If she was still alive, we could have participated in ‘My Colourful Memories’ together and made some new memories."

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As a result of Poppy's letter, the school held a fund-raising day for the charity where the children's gandparents were invited along to an afternoon of refreshments, cakes and entertainment.

Neil Floyd, who set up the charity, said: "I was close to tears when I read the Poppy’s letter. I created ‘My Colourful Memories’ in 2016, founded from my own experiences of caring for my late father who lived with Parkinson’s and dementia. I currently run the group around caring for my mother who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

"Part of our work involves illustrating precious photographs that are provided by workshop attendees into outlined pictures that can be coloured-in.

"Doing this allows participants to share stories which in-turn enables carers or family members to learn more about the people they are caring for.

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"The fund-raising day was amazing. The children danced and sang songs old and new. All the money raised will go towards creating more personalised colouring/painting books for people who live with dementia.

"I will always treasure Poppy's letter."