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Rare Dementia fund set up by The PFC Trust.

The PFC Trust chairman Shaun Hope with Seaton Carew Golf Club Captain Phil Cain. Picture:  Michael Cartwright/SCGC

A new fund created to help people suffering from a rare dementia has been set up in memory of a much-loved Hartlepool mother.

Seaton Carew Golf Club’s Captain for 2024, Phil Cain, has confirmed that this year he will raise money to support the Rare Dementia Fund, set up by The PFC Trust. 

The Fund has been ring fenced to help support individuals and their families affected by the disease and was created following Lesley Connor’s passing earlier this year.

Lesley, whose husband Tommy is a member at the golf club, received a diagnosis of the inherited or young onset dementia, and that brought with it unique and complex challenges. 

The PFC Trust has made a seed donation of £5,000 to the Fund and Phil will hold a series of events to boost it.

He said: “It is one of the proudest moments of my life to be made Captain in the club’s 150th anniversary year.. I want to do the best I can to represent the golf club and choosing a charity was a key part of that. 

“I wanted it to be a local rather than national charity, a cause close to my heart and I want to make sure everyone has fun raising funds at the golf club.

“I’m sure dementia has touched many of you. Sadly, I witnessed first-hand how one of my friends and her loving family bravely battled this awful disease. 

“In her honour and having discussed this with her family it was decided to approach The PFC Trust to see if they could help set up a Hartlepool dementia charity under their umbrella organisation. 

“Not only did they agree but, true to form, this fantastic charitable organisation kindly set up the fund with a seed £5,000 donation and that has provided a fantastic start.”

Phil and Seaton Carew GC are now organising a Captain’s Dinner, Captain’s Day, a paddling pool chipping competition, a putting competition and, potentially, a football tournament for the driving range. Other fun ideas and social events are being discussed. 

To get the fundraising off to a strong start Phil has introduced a Captain’s challenge match. He invites members to take on him and vice-captain Hugh Hamilton using the Captain’s 10.30am tee time on a competition Saturday for a minimum donation of £20 each.

The Rare Dementia Fund was launched on Monday, March 4 and is open to applications, although decisions will only be made quarterly by a dedicated panel including a dementia specialist.

The PFC Trust’s chairman Shaun Hope, Lesley’s son-in-law, said: “We are so grateful to Seaton Carew GC and Captain Phil Cain for choosing this new dedicated Fund as their charity of choice in what is the most special year in the club’s history. 

“This Fund means a lot to me and my family. We have recently lost someone dear to us as she battled with an awful rare dementia disease. 

“During those tough times we realised support for families going through these challenging times is often overlooked. Very few people are aware of the impact because the conditions are so rare. 

“We are proud to play a very small part as The PFC Trust in generating support and funds that will go on to help people who have suffered just like me and my family have. 

“This is one of many special things that we will be doing with Seaton Carew GC, two organisations that want to support Hartlepool and its community. We are so grateful.”

*To apply to the Fund please complete the short form on the PFC Trust website or discuss a referral from your GP.

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