What is an Admiral Nurse?

Admiral Nurses are specialist nurses who provide the specialist dementia support that families need.  When things get challenging or difficult, Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia, their families and carers: giving the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions people need, and that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

Admiral Nurses are continually trained, developed and supported by the charity, Dementia UK.  Families that have their support have someone truly expert and caring by their side – helping them to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.

Sid Valley Memory Cafe has fundraised for an Admiral Nurse for the Sid Valley community since 2014.

How did we come to have an Admiral Nurse in the Sid Valley?

In 2014 the Sid Valley Memory Café, faced with declining local support services for families living with dementia, decided to try to do something to help them. After much discussion, it was decided that an Admiral Nurse would provide much needed support to these families.

After speaking with Dementia UK who manage Admiral Nurses here in the UK, we launched a campaign with the support of the Sidmouth Herald to raise £100,000 to cover the costs of an Admiral Nurse for the first two years. Following amazing support from the local community and our Town Council, and grants from several organisations, we reached our target in mid 2016, and our Sid Valley Admiral Nurse started in post in the Spring of 2017.

Since then we have continued our fundraising efforts. And have also been successful in gaining the support of the Big Lottery, but this is an on-going challenge. We need to raise £50,000+ every year to cover the cost of our nurse.

How can you access the Admiral Nurse?

As a specialist nurse, the focus of the Admiral Nurse role is on supporting families with complex needs – particularly where family carers require guidance through transitions, loss and changing relationships and where carers are struggling to cope in their caring role.

The Admiral Nurse works holistically, addressing both the physical and mental health needs of the carer and the person with dementia.  In order to access this service, a referral will need to be made by your Sid Valley GP.

For those whose needs are less complex, the Alzheimer’s Society’s Devon Dementia Support Service can provide information and advice.  This service can be accessed by calling 0300 123 2029 (Monday to Friday, 9-5pm).

How can you help make sure that we keep our Admiral Nurse in the Sid Valley?

We need to continue raising £50,000+ every year to make sure that we retain an Admiral Nurse here in the Sid Valley supporting families living with dementia.

We are always looking for people to join our fundraising team, either as a committee member or as a volunteer to help at fund raising events. Should you be interested in joining our team please contact Duncan Watt at wattfamily@hotmail.com   We would love to hear from you.

Fundraising for our Admiral Nurse

Past Fundraising Events

  • The Fund Raising Group have been busy from the start of 2019 as we need to raise £50,000 each year to keep our Admiral Nurse in place. January was the first of this years’ fundraising events when local historian Jonathan Walker spoke on the heroines in the SME during WWII at Sidmouth Rugby Club.   As well as listening to a most interesting talk everyone enjoyed their pasty and free drink. In total almost £900 was raised for the Admiral Nurse Appeal.
  • Kennaway House in Sidmouth was the venue in March for a Traditional Afternoon English Tea event. Jethro Marles was our guest speaker and he entertained us with a most interesting talk about his work within the jewellery trade.  He also gave valuations to people who had brought items of jewellery along.  The afternoon was a great success and enjoyed by all.  Thanks to our wonderful catering and waitress teams. Just over £1,000 was raised from this event – a truly magnificent sum.
  • In May a Barn Dance was held at the Donkey Sanctuary.  Music was provided by a local band “A Bit of Rough” and the caller – Jeremy Childs – gave excellent instructions to keep us under control.  Refreshments for the evening was a delicious ploughman’s supper and a bar was on tap to give the dancers liquid sustenance.  A further £600 was added to the Admiral Nurse appeal from this fun evening.
  • May saw the, now traditional and well known, Salcombe Regis Country Fair take place and The Admiral Nurse Appeal was selected as one of the 5 benefitting charities for 2019. The Fair is run by the local Church with half the profits going to nominated charities and the other half to the Church. A cheque for £600 was presented to the Charity this month.
  • Barbara Mence, an accomplished gardener opened her delightful Sidmouth garden for a weekend in June in aid of the Admiral Nurse Appeal. The garden and the weather were delightful and the teas and cakes served were scrumptious!  £250 was raised during the weekend!

Future Fundraising Events

On Friday November 1st we will be looking for teams of up to 6 people to enter a Quiz to be held at the Sidmouth Conservative Club.  There will be more information on this event and other events  to follow.


As for all our events,  we need volunteers to help run them and if you have time on your hands and would like to join the Admiral Nurse Fund Raising Committee we would love to hear from you. We are already thinking of fund raising ideas for 2020

Annette Newman

Member of the Admiral Nurse Fund Raising Group.