The home of Lesley & Ray Broomfield at Starrs Mead in Battle was turned into a ranch last Sunday, when ‘Sherriff Ray’ hosted a cowboy and Indian garden party to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.
The Bexhill Observer reported last year how Ray individually raises funds for the Alzheimer’s Society after his wife Lesley was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. Since then he has devoted his life to fundraising for them in order to help other families who have to face the same devastating effect that dementia has, not only on the individuals but also for the families effected. Ray gives talks to local organisations about his life as a schoolboy in WW2 and as a volunteer for seven years at Bateman’s in East Sussex he has future talks booked up into 2014 about Rudyard’s Kipling’s home. His main annual fundraisers though, are his themed garden parties held at Lesley and his home. With the theme being ‘Cowboy & Indians’ this year, what better food to have on the menu than sausage, beans and mash. Ray is only too aware of how much he values the support and strength he receives from his family and friends. He said ‘ Lesley & I have been married for over 50 years and I do not know how I would have coped without the love & dedication of my family and friends since Lesley was diagnosed with dementia . I would like to thank them all for their support over many years now. In particular my daughter Kristina, who has been my brick and held me up for so long now. It was so sad that Lesley’s health has deteriorated and was unable to join the party with us this year. she is now in a local care home receiving nursing care.
In the U.K. there are over 820,000 people that suffer from dementia. Sara Neighbour, representative of the Alzheimer’s Society who also attended the party paid tribute to Ray and thanked him for all the fundraising he has done over the years and for his personal contribution in highlighting the work of the Alzheimer’s Society. Ray’s great granddaughter Jessie the raffle and over £500 was raised on the day. If any organisation would be interested in Ray’s talks you can contact him on 01424-777202.