Breakaway dementia charity will be launched in public next month

Action on Dementia Sunderland was formed by former Alzheimer's Society volunteers in protest at larger charity's restructuring

Disgruntled former volunteers of the Alzheimer’s Society in Sunderland are to launch a rival voluntary organisation next month.

About half a dozen volunteers broke away in protest at a restructure by the society in April.

They claimed the society’s decision to place local branches under the control of regional administrative centres, known as ‘localities’, had made the London-based organisation too centralised and unresponsive to local needs.

The society said it was increasing accountability to win more contracts.

Ernie Thompson relinquished his position as chair of the Sunderland branch to set up Action on Dementia Sunderland. "Every penny we raise will go to the people of Sunderland," he said.

He said at least six former society branches had formed breakaway groups and that some, including his, were in dispute with the society over the ownership of buildings.

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