A TRAINEE minister and his congregation have raised more than £800 for a charity close to his heart.

William Boyle, a probationary minister at Westburn Church, took part in a sponsored walk alongside colleagues and church-goers, to support Adams House in Elderslie, a specialist dementia care home.

William was inspired to help after visiting Adams House, which is run by the Church of Scotland Charity Crossreach, last year.

William said: "As part of my training for full-time ministry one of the topics I wanted to work on in my 15-month probation and to learn more about dementia."

William was shocked to discover that 850,000 people in the U.K have dementia and 90,000 people in Scotland.

He said:"I visited Adams House last year and was given a tour of the facility by the manager Martin Lightbody and given some really useful resources.

"From that visit, as members of the congregation we decided to do what we could to raise money for this great care home which is within our presbytery of Greenock and Paisley."

William says he has been working with Alzheimer Scotland in Inverclyde and the late dementia advisor Sean Caulfield to help make the church more dementia friendly.

He said: "I have been able to volunteer at their Friday friendship group within the church, we are also awaiting our brand new dementia friendly signage provided by BEP signs in Greenock which will be displayed across the building, our Kirk Session set aside money to allow this to happen which shows how committed our members are to dementia."

William said that the church's pastoral care committee and members of the congregation have also been trained as dementia friends and they have six dementia champions who are dementia aware.

There is also a new dementia noticeboard, name badges for church officers and dementia friendly community hub.

William said: "Our church is used not just on a Sunday at 11 am but seven days a week and our main aim is to ensure our building is a dementia friendly environment."