Public Health England and the Alzheimer's Society have launched their new Dementia Friends campaign in the south west. The new campaign will mobilise people in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to play their part in tackling one of the biggest health issues facing the region. The Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friends initiative aims to show it will take a whole society response to enable people with the condition to live well.
It is estimated that 32,295 in this region are living with dementia; the initiative will show everyone the small things that they can do to make a difference. Some of England's best-loved performers, including Gloucestershire's own Simon Pegg, are starring alongside Sir Terry Pratchett, Lily Allen, Ray Winstone, Ruth Jones, Michael Vaughan, Ruth Langsford, Eamonn Holmes, Leighton Baines, Meera Syal, Paul O'Grady, Fiona Phillips, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, to perform the iconic Beatles track 'With A Little Help From My Friends' in a new ad, shown on national TV for the first time on 7 May.
On the same day, Sir Paul McCartney was announced as an ambassador for Dementia Friends, to highlight that people with dementia can still live fulfilling and rewarding lives, with a little help from their friends.
The advert will encourage viewers to become a Dementia Friend - which simply means learning a few useful tips to help make life better for those living with dementia. 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 condition.