Amanda Kopel has pledged to keep banging the drum for a dementia dog scheme which was at risk of being scrapped.
The Frank’s Law campaigner from Kirriemuir said she believed man’s best friend would have helped her late husband Frank tremendously during his own battle with the disease.
Dementia Dog is run in collaboration between charities Alzheimer Scotland and Dogs for Good, and is the first initiative of its type in the world to blend dementia specialist services with the provision of highly trained assistance dogs.
The project has been people with dementia across Scotland including families in Tayside but was under threat in August before it was saved by a £50,000 fundraising drive.
Mrs Kopel said she wants to do all she can to raise awareness of the project to ensure it continues to receive money to keep it going.
“I know that if it had been possible, both Frankie and I would have benefited so much from having one of the dogs, and while it wasn’t possible I hope that someone else, wherever they are in Scotland, will know the joy that these wonderful dogs can do to help them through the dementia journey,” she said.
“I was delighted to have been invited last month to the Dementia Dog Christmas event in Broughty Ferry where I met another of the eight dogs who are helping people who are living with dementia.
“It was both very interesting and also very touching to hear from the various carers what a help they have been to their loved ones and to themselves on the journey of dementia.”
It takes £25,000 to train one dog and Mrs Kopel presented a £1,500 cheque to the project following a successful quiz night in Dundee.
The Snug Bar in Dundee, which includes the Frank Kopel Lounge, held a quiz night and auction which included memorabilia from Frank Kopel’s Dundee United days.
Mrs Kopel suggested the Dementia Dog project should be the recipient of the money which was made from the evening, which she described as an outstanding success.
“I would like to thank Lisa and her team at The Snug, everyone who donated items for the auction and raffle, and everyone who came along to the quiz night to make it such a success, who helped to raise funds for such a wonderful project and raising awareness of the help that is there should dementia come knocking at a person’s door, regardless of the age that person might be,” she added.
Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “There are few families in Scotland who are not living with dementia.
“We need new and innovative approaches to supporting them.
“The Dementia Dog project is a fantastic example of collaborative and pioneering working to develop different types of support for people living with dementia and we have been thrilled to take this forward.”
Mrs Kopel led the Frank’s Law campaign, backed by The Courier, to abolish care charges for under-65s with debilitating conditions following the death of her husband – Dundee United legend Frank – in 2014 after a battle with dementia.