Celebs unite to help recruit one million dementia friends Posted on

Some of England’s best-loved performers are starring in our new short film, part of which will be aired as an advert, to raise awareness of a new Dementia Friends campaign from Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society highlighting that people with dementia can still live fulfilling and rewarding lives with a little help, understanding and kindness from those around them.

Sir Paul McCartney is today announced as an ambassador for Dementia Friends as celebrities and Alzheimer’s Society ambassadors perform one of The Beatles’ most memorable tracks ‘with a little help from my friends’ including Lily Allen, Chris Martin, Ray Winstone; Pixie Lott; Paul O’Grady; Leighton Baines; Fiona Phillips; Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes; Simon Pegg; Hugh Dennis; Amanda Holden; Alesha Dixon and Ruth Jones and Sir Terry Pratchett, alongside Gina Shaw, a 61 year old singer and former nurse from Liverpool who has dementia.

Dementia is one of the biggest health crises facing the UK – around one million people will be living with dementia in England by 2021.

The film will encourage viewers to become a Dementia Friend – which means gaining an understanding of the challenges faced by people with dementia and learning a few useful tips to help make life better for those living with the condition. To become a friend, individuals watch a short online film, which explains what dementia is, how it affects individuals and what people can do to help those living with the disease. Once they’ve watched the film, they then enter their details in order to receive a Dementia Friends badge (to show their support), and ‘Little Book Of Friendship’, which includes further ideas and tips on how to help people with dementia. Alternatively, people can attend a face-to-face awareness session run by Alzheimer’s Society in their area.

The initiative forms part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, and builds on commitments declared at the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit, which included a call to improve the quality of life for people living with the disease.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said:

‘Given that one in three people over 65 will develop dementia, it is fantastic to be working together with Public Health England to launch a star studded campaign to raise awareness of dementia and encourage people to become Dementia Friends.’

‘Everyone has a role to play. Through Dementia Friends, we can all understand a bit more about what it is like to live with dementia and the small things that help those with the condition. It is easy and free to become a Dementia Friend, so I urge you all to sign up and make a difference.’

To become a Dementia Friend, visit http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/. The full film of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ will also be available to view on the site.