A Salford student has been on a fundraising mission to connect residents at her grandmother’s care home with their relatives.
The £2,700 Joelle Davis raised from her sponsored runs has paid for 14 Samsung tablets for her grandmother’s care home in Gibraltar.
Third year international student Miss Davis has a “very close” bond with her grandma, Alice Hernandez, who was diagnosed with dementia back in 2017.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Miss Davis felt she felt she was “losing precious time” with her grandma and she hopes the tablets could help them stay connected, even all the way from Salford.
On her fundraising, Miss Davis said: “It’s such a great feeling, especially when I first received that phone-call from my granny.
“I just got emotional.”
Joelle Davis and her cousin Anna Hernandez ran over 26.2 miles during the lockdown and have been sponsored by 115 people so far.
Miss Davis described reaching her £2500 target as a “proud feeling” and said:
“The best thing about it was receiving messages from people who also have family members in that place, that care home. They were just so thankful that we could do it.”
Miss Davis was devastated that the recent lockdown meant she still couldn’t visit her grandmother in person.
She said: “It’s been really tough because she has quite severe dementia now.
“The more time she spends without seeing us when we can’t go and visit her, it just gets worse.
“Now it’s got to the point where she might not recognise me.”
Alice’s dementia started to worsen two years after her diagnosis when she began hallucinating.
Miss Davis said: “We had to install cameras in her house because she was just leaving her house at 3 in the morning trying to get the bus.
“It got quite out of control, so that’s when we knew we had to get her into the care home and make sure she’s alright 24 hours of the day.
“Because it was Christmas and it was her birthday time as well, we realised there was major decline.
“It really affected our family, especially when she can’t recognise her grandchildren. It is heart-breaking to be honest.”
Despite the difficulties Miss Davis and her family have faced, she wants to stay positive and keep raising awareness of dementia.
She plans to continue fundraising alongside her cousin Anna Hernandez over Christmas and the new year.
You can find their go fund me page for more information here.