Scarborough dementia activist crowned Volunteer of the Year

Tim Kirkup (third from left) with (from left) Councillor Carl Les, Leader of the County Council; Councillor Robert Windass, Chair of the County Council; and Kim Leadbeater, who presented the awards.
Tim Kirkup (third from left) with (from left) Councillor Carl Les, Leader of the County Council; Councillor Robert Windass, Chair of the County Council; and Kim Leadbeater, who presented the awards.

A pioneer of stepping up dementia care in Filey and Scarborough has been named as Volunteer of the Year in this year’s North Yorkshire Community Awards.

Tim Kirkup won the prestigious award for his work as chairman of Scarborough Dementia Action Alliance as well as local ambassador and representative of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mr Kirkup also supports a young man with dementia go cycling weekly as well as a group of people with dementia to go swimming each week. He supports the local weekly Singing for the Brain group, and monthly Activity Cafes in Scarborough and Filey.

He began questioning Scarborough’s poor diagnosis rate, among other issues, and is challenging decision makers to make changes locally to benefit those affected by dementia.

A spokesman for the judges said his sterling work had seen him create 1,845 dementia friends through specialist seminars and that the area was now well on the way to becoming a Dementia Friendly Town.

Run by the County Council, the awards celebrate and showcase voluntary work by individuals and organisations that make their neighbourhoods better places to live and help the council to deliver critical services, such as providing social networks that reduce isolation and enable people to live independently for longer.

County Council Chair Councillor Robert Windass said: “Each year we continue to be hugely impressed by the standard of the nominees. So many people of all ages and backgrounds right across North Yorkshire generously give their time and skills to help others, making a big contribution to the people’s lives.

“The standard of the entries made it very difficult to choose winners. All the finalists, and indeed all the nominees, deserve our gratitude and admiration. Without the tens of thousands of hours given by so many volunteers, life for so many people would be much poorer.”

The winner of each category receives £1,000 for the project, group or nominated relevant local charity in the case of the volunteer awards. Two runners-up in each category receive £250.