11-year-old girl takes on triathlon for Dementia Support

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An 11-year-old girl has raised hundreds of pounds for a Tangmere dementia charity because she likes their toast.

Gabby Spandley was set to take on Tribal Sports Evens Oakwood Triathlon last year in support of Dementia Support but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Determined not to be beaten Gabby took on the challenge on her own and completed a triathlon – and raised £227.85 for the charity.

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Gabby is autistic and has a heart condition and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, which means she has no relationship with food at all.

Gabby and Helen SpandleyGabby and Helen Spandley
Gabby and Helen Spandley

Her mum, Helen, was therefore very happy that they found Daisy’s Café at Dementia Support’s hub, Sage House.

Gabby, who visits the café every school holiday with her mum, said: “It’s friendly, big and bright and I love the toast here.”

The triathlon is not the only fundraising Gabby has done for the charity – when she heard about a smashed window at Dementia Support in the autumn, she held a garden sale for some of her old toys and raised almost £50.

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Dementia Support supports those living with dementia and their loved ones with its hub, Sage House, offering respite care, wellbeing services, activity sessions and its unique Wayfinding service.

Natalie Burchett, community fundraising and events manager at Dementia Support, said: “Gabby is an incredibly happy and determined little girl, and she is a real fighter!

“We appreciate and thank her for all of her efforts, her infectious enthusiasm and every penny she raises for our customers and carers.

“We are looking forward to seeing Gabby and her mum, Helen, regularly again in our café!”

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Dementia Support reopened its Daisy’s Café in May, and Gabby was very excited to be able to hand-deliver the £227.85 she had raised.

While he was there she enjoyed a cup of tea with her mum, Helen – and some toast.