CASH raised through the Tour de Yorkshire is supporting the launch across Airedale of a new service to help dementia sufferers.

Over £100,000 has been coined-in for the Alzheimer’s Society thanks to a partnership with the cycle race.

Welcome to Yorkshire has worked closely with the charity since unveiling the link-up last December.

Representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society attended every Tour roadshow in the run-up to April's race and staged various activities during the three-day event – which took in Silsden, Riddlesden, Keighley and the Worth Valley on the third stage.

Over half the fundraising total was coined-in by participants in the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire sportive.

Some of the proceeds are being used for the society's Side by Side initiative, which will provide free one-to-one support so dementia sufferers remain active and to combat feelings of loneliness.

The charity is currently seeking volunteers to help with the scheme across Airedale, Craven and Wharfedale.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, described the amount raised as "tremendous".

"I am immensely proud that the Tour de Yorkshire has helped raise such a huge sum for a very deserving cause," he said.

"The Alzheimer’s Society delivers an invaluable service and we sincerely hope this money will make a difference to the 67,000 people living with dementia in Yorkshire, and hundreds of thousands more around the UK."

Michael Dent, the society's director of fundraising, said: "It was incredible to see so many fundraisers uniting against dementia and supporting us during the Tour de Yorkshire. They all played their part in reaching this amazing total.

"The funds raised will help us in various initiatives, one of which is growing our Side by Side programme.

"The programme also helps people maintain better physical and mental functions and it may help slow their rate of decline."

Kate Woodfield, who is co-ordinating the service locally, said the focus was on enabling people with dementia to lead more fulfilling lives and to continue to take part in activities they had always enjoyed.

She added: "By doing things like going for a walk, attending a football match or joining a local class together, our volunteers support people to take up hobbies and get out and about.

"What they do together is entirely based on what the person with dementia wants."

All Side by Side volunteers will receive full training.

For more details, e-mail or call 01274 586008.