Oscar-nominated actress and UK Global Dementia Friends Ambassador Carey Mulligan and Alzheimer’s Society announce today that a staggering two million people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have united to become Dementia Friends.
This includes Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire where 343 Dementia Friends Champions, who are volunteers aiming to help raise awareness about dementia, have helped 61,225 people become Dementia Friends.
Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative Dementia Friends was launched in 2013 to tackle stigma that results in social exclusion for people with dementia and since then it has been transforming the way people act, think and talk about the condition.
Dementia is the biggest health and social care crisis facing society today. Someone develops the condition every three minutes and too many are facing it alone. The award-winning star has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of dementia, and is speaking candidly for the first time since her grandmother died with the condition earlier this year.
Carey Mulligan said: “Dementia can devastate lives – I’ve seen first-hand through my grandmother exactly how hard it can be and find the idea of people with dementia being excluded from society deeply distressing.
“Dementia Friends has made huge strides in tackling the social isolation many people with dementia experience and the two million milestone is an incredible achievement – but we have a long way to go before society is fully accepting and need people everywhere to unite against the cruel stigma associated with dementia.”
Carey became a Global Dementia Friends Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society in 2016, having been a long-term supporter of the charity. Her grandmother Margaret, known as Nans, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004 and sadly passed away with the condition earlier this year. In her role, Carey has been committed to spreading greater awareness of the condition across the world and bringing continued attention to the urgent need for a dementia friendly society.
Steve Hayward, Services Manager in Birmingham and Solihull at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“It’s encouraging to see what a difference can be made when people become Dementia Friends. Up and down the country, many people are no longer being excluded in their own communities
“The public response so far has been phenomenal, but we must not lose momentum as dementia continues to be the biggest health and social care crisis of our time. We need all of society to unite with us against dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend.”