TWO Bridgwater doctors have helped raise thousands of pounds to help combat dementia and have given a huge boost to a new Community Hub.

The funds were raised by Bridgwater doctors Michael and Avril Staunton, partly by trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Avril Staunton, 62, had her life turned upside down when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2015 and the expedition was to demonstrate how we can still live well with dementia.

She said she was determined not to let her dementia define her and took on the trek in March.

The expedition team was made up of members of our Dementia Action Alliance Project and friends and colleagues of Avril and Michael.

The money from the Kilimanjaro trip has been donated to Alzheimer's UK, but has also donated £2,000 toward the new Community Hub planned for the upper floor of Angel Place Shopping Centre in Bridgwater.

Michael and Avril also raised further money for their causes with a surprise charity auction held at a recent gala dinner held at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London.

Avril now proposes to organise other events particularly around awareness of empowerment issues for people living with Dementia.

John Hardy, chairman of Bridgwater Dementia Action Alliance, who is spearheading the new Community Hub said it was a huge boost for the project.

"Work will commence on the Community Hub on June 18 and we are hoping to have it open by July 1," Mr Hardy said.

He said he also wanted to thank companies who had kindly donated materials to help make the project happen including Manderwood Timber in Highbridge, International Tiles for contributing tiles for the toilet and shower room, as well as Howdens Joinery for their help.

The project has also benefitted from grants from Sedgemoor District Council and Bridgwater Town Council and will be run by the Dementia Action Alliance and the Rotary E Club 1200.

Mr Hardy said organisations already signed up to use the hub included Blind Veterans UK, Mind and McMillan Cancer Support.

The new hub will cost around £15,000 to refurbish, and will include three meeting rooms, a small kitchen and two toilets, one of which will be disabled-friendly.