MORRIS Men in the area have been raising money for a cause close to their hearts while they’ve been entertaining the crowds this year.

The Gloucestershire Morris Men have been fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society through the year and presented the charity with a cheque for £1,750 at a recent performance at the Carpenter’s Arms in Miserden.

The money was raised at dancing performances throughout 2016 including at the South Cerney Street Fair and Upton St. Leonards Village Day, but were mainly at Gloucestershire pubs.

The group voted to support Alzheimer’s Society this year for many reasons, but largely because one of their dancers is caring for his wife who has dementia.

Bob Pierce, 63, lives near Miserden with his wife Judith who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.

He said: “As a group, we have become very close friends; we all know each other’s families.

“My wife, Judith, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 but it has only been in the last couple of years that the effects have been noticeable enough for everyone to see.

“The Morris team have been very supportive especially as Judith would often accompany me to what tended to be our ‘men only’ events and practice sessions.

“I suggested that our 2016 charity donation should go to Alzheimer’s Society and because of the friendship within our team, and everyone having known Judith for many years, this was agreed.

“Our audiences responded brilliantly to our chosen cause. We were all amazed that by halfway through the dancing season we had matched previous years’ totals.”

Accepting the donation, Lee Hawthorne, the Alzheimer's Society services manager for Gloucestershire, thanked the group for their support.

He said: “We are incredibly grateful that The Gloucestershire Morris Men chose to support Alzheimer’s Society.

“Not only have they collected a fantastic amount of money, but through their collections they have also helped to raise awareness of dementia and get people talking about the condition.

“As a charity, we rely on the generosity of groups like the Gloucestershire Morris Men to help us continue our vital work so that Alzheimer's Society can continue leading the fight against dementia. Dementia can happen to anyone and there is currently no cure.

“But with the right support, people can live well with dementia.”