TRIBUTES have been paid to a charity champion who strived for better care for dementia patients.
Kath Tyldesley, the chairman of Bolton’s The Dementia Support Group, died aged 84 at Bolton Hospice on Wednesday, June 12 following an illness.
Mrs Tyldesley, from Sharples, became involved with the charity 14 years ago as her late husband, Norman, suffered from dementia.
Her work to improve dementia care was recognised with a series of awards. She was nominated as Bolton’s Woman of the Year in 2011 and Volunteer of the Year at an international dementia conference in London organised by Stirling University in 2010.
Despite winning the volunteer award she was unable to collect it personally as she fell and broke her wrist enroute to the ceremony — but that did not stop her fundraising.
Barbara Clarke, chief officer at the Thicketford Road charity, said: “Kath was a formidable ambassador of dementia. She would speak to anybody and everybody.
“She would discuss at great lengths dementia across cultures with taxi drivers. And was at ease talking taxi drivers as she was speaking to MP David Crausby, for Bolton North East.”
Mrs Tyldesley, a mother to Chris and Caroline, previously worked as a teacher for children with special needs and a physiotherapy auxiliary.
During her retirement she furthered her knowledge by completing an A Level in English Literature and an Open University degree.
She combined her interest in the arts with her charity work and often read poetry to people with dementia.
Mrs Clarke said the dedicated volunteer was actively involved with Bolton’s dementia partnership to make the town more “dementia friendly” and worked to increase the rate of diagnosis.
Members of the charity said she was the “glue that kept them together” due to her organisational skills.
To keep her memory alive the charity has encouraged nearly 100 shops across the borough to show they are “dementia aware” by displaying a purple angel.
The idea was started in Torbay and was supported by Mrs Tyldesley.
The charity also hope to secure funding in her memory for a project which will let sufferers live as independently as possible.
A celebration of her life will be held today (MON 24th) at Bank Top United Reformed Church at 1pm.
From the Bolton News Monday, 24th June 2013