Tributes to Scarborough charity star Dorothy

Dorothy Rushworth
Dorothy Rushworth

Tributes have been paid to charity stalwart Dorothy Rushworth, 90, who founded the Scarborough branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Originally from Wath-on Dearne, South Yorkshire, Dorothy achieved her Higher School Certificate at the age of 17 and was given the opportunity of studying history at Queen Mary College in London.

However, her classes were switched to Cambridge for the first year due to the London blitz. She recalled returning to the capital the following year to discover Queen Mary College in Stepney Green had been partially demolished due to bomb damage.

Dorothy’s studies centred on colonial history and she had spells at Kings College and Birkbeck College, gaining her degree at the age of 20.

She went on to gain qualifications in shorthand, typing and book-keeping and worked in secretarial roles before completing teacher training in Huddersfield.

Dorothy taught at colleges in Maidenhead, York and Barnsley, becoming a senior lecturer. At Barnsley she met fellow teacher Charlie, who would become her husband.

After retiring from teaching, the couple decided to move to Scarborough in 1983. They became active members of South Cliff Methodist Church.

Dorothy noticed that Charlie’s memory wasn’t what it was, and that there were strange patterns in his behaviour, and he was diagnosed with dementia.

As Charlie’s condition worsened, Dorothy became his full-time carer and he was eventually placed in Tree Tops Nursing Home, where he passed away in 1990.

It was during the previous year that Dorothy, with the help of the late Terry Compton, former owner of Tree Tops, decided to form a local branch of the national Alzheimer’s charity.

Having seen what the dreadful disease had done to her husband, she was determined to raise awareness and funds. Dorothy went on to serve as branch chairperson, treasurer and secretary, and has been instrumental in helping raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years.

Paying tribute, Louise Morgan, Alzheimer’s Society services manager for Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale, said: “Dorothy was a well respected and determined lady who worked hard to raise both funds and awareness to support local people affected by dementia. She will be sorely missed by us all.”

A coffee morning, held in Dorothy’s memory, will take place on April 19, 10am-noon, at the Park Manor Hotel.

Entry is £2.50.