Letchworth residents and businesses asked to unite against dementia

We have teamed up with the North Hertfordshire Dementia Action Alliance to encourage residents and businesses in Letchworth and North Herts to unite against dementia during Dementia Awareness Week (14-21 May) by becoming a Dementia Friend.

A special Dementia Friends Information Session is being held on Tuesday 16 May at 12.30pm in Screen 2 at Broadway Cinema in Letchworth.

The session is completely free and should last about 45 minutes, so ideal for a quick lunch-break for residents or anyone working in the area. Anyone interested in attending is asked to book a space online here: letchworth-unites-against-dementia.eventbrite.co.uk

Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by Alzheimer’s Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. Already more than 1.9 million people have become Dementia Friends across the country.

The session will be run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champion Mark Edwards from Hitchin.

Mark said: “I first became a Dementia Friends Champion when I saw my wife’s Nan coping with dementia, and I now know that there must be countless others finding it difficult to live in our community while struggling with the condition. But it doesn’t have to be like that! By being a little bit more aware and each of us doing our own little bit, we can ensure that anyone living with dementia in North Herts, lives well within our community.”

This year, Alzheimer’s Society is asking people to come together to unite against dementia, forgetting their differences to help urgently find a cure, improve care, and offer help and understanding during Dementia Awareness Week.

Jane Marland, Chair of the North Hertfordshire Dementia Action Alliance, said:

“We’re calling on people in Letchworth and North Hertfordshire to show their support this Dementia Awareness Week and become a Dementia Friend at our very special awareness session. So why not pop down to our session during your lunch-break to show your support and help us make North Herts a dementia friendly community.

“Dementia doesn’t care who you are; it could affect us all. It’s set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes, and so many people are facing it alone.

“Dementia Friends sessions are usually run in small groups, so we’d like to say a very special thank you the Letchworth Heritage Foundation for giving us access to the Broadway Cinema in giving us the opportunity to deliver this very special ‘mass’ Dementia Friends session and reach 140 people at one time. We look forward to working with them in the future on more activities and events to make our community ‘dementia friendly.’”

Alastair Stewart, Head of Charitable Services for Letchworth Heritage Foundation said: “We’re delighted that we are able to help with hosting the event at the Broadway Cinema, and we wish the event every success in helping to raise awareness and increase understanding in the community”.

Almost 2,000 people are living with dementia in North Hertfordshire. Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia. The charity provides information and support, to find out more call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW

Alzheimers's Society