A GROUP based in Ledbury has marked its first anniversary by appealing for new members to help raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK, the UK's leading dementia research charity.

The group raised over £2000 in their first year by organising events such as quizzes, bucket collections and raffles.

They are now hoping to step up their fundraising and build on their incredible success so far with the support of new members.

Group chairman Rebecca McMann decided to set up the Ledbury Fundraising Group to get more people in the local community involved in fundraising for dementia research and to help raise awareness of dementia across Herefordshire.

She said: "I have lost three grandparents to dementia and it was heart-breaking for my family to see our loved ones become less and less like themselves whilst the cruel disease took over. This gave me the determination to try and do my bit to increase awareness of dementia throughout Herefordshire and raise vital funds for research so that one day other people won't have to go through what we have all been through as a family."

Rebecca, who has also trained as a community speaker for the charity, wants more people to get involved with fundraising across Herefordshire.

"Getting involved with the Ledbury Fundraising Group is a really rewarding experience. We have six members and are a sociable and welcoming group.

"We would love to welcome more volunteers to the group to help in our goal to make breakthroughs in dementia research possible."

Zoe Baggott, regional fundraising officer for the West Midlands region at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to Rebecca, as well as the other amazing members of the Ledbury Fundraising Group for their hugely successful first year of fundraising.

"However, we need more people in Herefordshire to come forward to join them and help raise vital funds for dementia research.

"There are now over 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia, and it recently became the leading cause of death in this country. Our mission is to find the first life-changing treatment for dementia by 2025.

"This will only be possible with the amazing fundraising efforts of dedicated groups like the Ledbury Fundraising Group."

Anyone wishing to find out more about volunteering with the Ledbury group should call Alzheimer's Research UK on 0300 111 5555.

The group also have a Facebook page (ARUKLedbury) where they list all forthcoming events.