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Urmila's story: "Holding a Time for a Cuppa event brought love and joy to me and my family"

Urmila Prabhat on her Time for a Cuppa tea party – incorporating delicious Indian recipes – and her work as a Volunteer Ambassador for Dementia UK.

Urmila Prabhat with her grandaughter

I lost my husband in August 2020. We retired five years ago to spend more time with family, and to travel. Three years later, my husband’s health started to deteriorate rapidly, and he was admitted to hospital on multiple occasions. My husband passed away in the middle of lockdown. His passing was unexpected, and it was an incredibly difficult time, especially as I wasn’t able to see any friends or family.

After my husband passed away, I wanted to get into volunteering, but Covid-19 was rampant at that time, and our local charities and hospices weren’t accepting volunteers. I started researching opportunities online, and came across the Dementia UK website. Getting the chance to be a volunteer for the charity was a godsend. I hadn’t heard of Admiral Nurses then, but I now know about the amazing work they do in supporting families living with dementia. 

Hosting my first Time a Cuppa event  

I first read about Time for a Cuppa on the Dementia UK Facebook page and saw some lovely pictures from supporters’ events. I decided to host my own Time for a Cuppa event in July 2021.  

I held our Time for a Cuppa event in my garden. It was forecast to rain, but it ended up being a glorious sunny day. I veered away from traditional tea party recipes and incorporated Indian food into my menu. I made starters, main courses, desserts, chutneys and pickles. All of the tables were labelled with the name of each item and information about the ingredients. Guests could pick one box from each table – each person got at least six boxes!  

As the weather was so lovely, our guests decided to stay in the garden, so out came the picnic blankets. We maintained a two-metre distance and, with the support of my son and his wife, it turned into a wonderful all-day picnic. Lots of families attended with children and our age range spanned from five months to 75 years!

Urmila's Time for a Cuppa event

Our fundraising success 

I set up a JustGiving page to raise funds, with a target of £700. We reached our fundraising target long before the event, so I decided to keep the page open. We ended up raising £1,526 through JustGiving, doubling my fundraising goal – I was delighted.   

I am so happy that I took part in Time for a Cuppa. Dementia UK is such a worthwhile cause that is close to my heart. The event itself brought so much love, joy and closeness with my family and friends, especially at a time where we had been isolating and unable to see each other for so long.

Sign up for Time for a Cuppa 

Based on my experience, I would urge everyone to either host a Time for a Cuppa event or support your family or friends to host one. It is one of the best uses of your time. It benefits families living with dementia – and it benefits you with the warm feeling it gives you, long after the event. I’m looking forward to hosting my next Time for a Cuppa event.

Urmila’s top tips 

  1. Tell people that you are fundraising for Dementia UK and believe in your cause. Your enthusiasm will pass on to others
  2. Plan, plan, plan down to the last detail – your time, activities, and what you can delegate
  3. Give other people roles. I asked my five-year-old grandson to draw some welcoming pictures, and everybody stopped to look at his dinosaur drawings on their way in in – they loved them!
  4. Try not to worry too much – everything you do will help raise vital funds, so just do what you can
  5. Make sure you let your neighbours know you are hosting an event as they might want to drop in
  6. Invite people to your event in advance and then jog their memory closer to the day

Find out more about Time for a Cuppa