ANOTHER big cheque was presented to charity by The Forester and Review team this week (sister papers of the Beacon), this time to South Wales ambassador for Dementia UK, Chepstow’s Ken Vowles.

We recently published a feature about Ken, who is well-known in the Forest and Wye Valley, and his role with the UK charity, which finds vital research and engagement to raise awareness of those effected by dementia and their families.

We asked local businesses to sponsor advertisements on the page, with a portion of the fee going to the charity, to coincide with Dementia Action Week (May 15-21).

And on Thursday, we presented a cheque for £100 for the charity to Ken at our office in Lydney.

Ken commented: “On behalf of Dementia UK, I would just like to say a big thank you to all the businesses that have participated and made donations. It will be put to good use, for the future development of dementia cures and awareness.”

Recently, Ken has been out and about talking to people in the local community about the impact the illness has on families.

“I’ve been going to local dementia cafes, places like Rodley House (nursing home in Lydney), the Azalea Day Club (at Lydney Community Centre) and throughout the Forest of Dean, just pushing through the idea of making people more dementia aware.

“My role is basically to do that, to make people more aware of what the symptoms are and to be more concerned about the carers and the partners that are left behind, because a lot of people tend to forget.

“And of course, it’s all just as difficult for them as it is for people with dementia, really.

“I don’t have any medical training, but I have spent a lot of time with people with dementia - my wife suffered with it - so what I’m trying to do is really is to spend my time trying to help those affected by it.”

Ken also recently spent a day at a building society in Cardiff chatting with customers about dementia, and hopes to engage with local sports clubs in the coming months to host awareness raising activities.

For more information about Dementia UK, go to