On Friday, Portsdown View in Bedhampton held its first ever Casino Night to raise money for Dementia Support – a West Sussex-based charity. Residents, families, and people from the local community were invited to play games of roulette, black jack, and croupiers at the on-site Langstone Bistro & Bar; with welcome cocktails and canapés served on arrival. 

Guests took part in the gambling using ‘fun money’, with their combined entrance fee to the event raising £1,040 for the charity. The proceeds will be used to fund services offering help, guidance, and care for those living with dementia – a complex and multifaceted disease which is rapidly growing in prevalence.

Dianne Gill, Fundraising Relationship Manager at Dementia Support, says:

“Dementia Support was set up in 2014 to provide guidance to people in our community living with dementia. We believe the more people know about the condition, the more they are able to help those living with it lead full, happy lives. Our vision is a society where dementia is wholly understood and accepted, enabling people to be fully supported through the whole of their journey. We are therefore hugely grateful to the whole Portsdown team for supporting our services, and for doing its part in spreading this vital message.”

This is not a niche issue. According to Portsmouth City Council, there are over 2,100 people in Portsmouth alone living with some form of dementia, with only about 500 of these being in residential care. Across the UK, the NHS estimates there are currently over 700,000 people with dementia nationwide; projected to increase to over 1 million by 2030.

The staff at Portsdown View hope the Casino Night will draw attention to the devastating impact dementia can have in the absence of proper care. Several of the home’s residents live with the condition, and each requires a bespoke, personalised care plan to meet their needs.

Dorota Ozturk, Deputy Manager at Portsdown View, says:

“The crucial thing when developing a care plan is to take a person’s unique needs and personal circumstances into account. By giving them a voice in the process early on, we try to ensure our residents keep as much agency in their lives as possible. Put simply, we need to ditch the ‘one size fits all’ approach to care – particularly for people living with dementia, which varies massively from person to person”.

The staff hopes this call for greater understanding and respect for those living with dementia will help to foster a culture of care in the community – particularly for those who don’t have the resources or support they need. This Casino Night is only the first in a series of community-based events planned by Portsdown View in the coming months.