By Tom Paterson
A DOBCROSS woman visited Downing Street to highlight her role as a Dementia Friends Champion and how she can make a difference to people’s lives in Saddleworth.
Helen Morris is planning a number of talks and initiatives in the community to focus on a condition that affects up to 800,000 people in the UK alone. Her personal experiences – both her parents had dementia – inspired her to learn more about the condition, resulting in an MSc in Dementia Care from Bradford University.
With 30 years’ experience in marketing and communication Helen now runs Close Communications which develops strategies for organisations supporting the elderly and their carers.
As a Dementia Friends Champion, she hopes to to bring this knowledge to support members of the local community.
“I will be running sessions locally starting in Dobcross and hopefully working round other villages with information sessions to help people understand the condition a little more,” said Helen.
“It can make a big difference to people’s lives if the society around them is a little more sympathetic, a bit more patient, spends just a little more time with them and helps people manage what is a very challenging condition to live with.”
The Dementia Challenge was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in March last year and aims to further dementia care by building on progress made through the National Dementia Strategy.
On her visit to Downing Street, Helen, who is wife of famous whistler David Morris, was overwhelmed by how well she was received to talk about the issue.
More than 40 people, including Nick Hurd, the Minister for the Civic Society, attended the Dementia Friends Information Sessions. .
She said: “It was quite awesome in a way but as soon as I start talking about dementia, I’m just so passionate, it was fine and the sessions seemed to go really well.”
Helen is holding sessions Upstairs at the Swan Inn, Dobcross on Thursday evenings from 7.30-8.30p.m starting Thursday, April 11 through to Thursday, May 2. For information about the Dementia Challenge, visit http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk/. Find out more about Helen’s work at Close Communications: http://www.close-communications.com