A host of celebrities have signed up for six carol concerts across the country, in order to raise money for Alzheimer’s society.
Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, aims to raise £45,000 for people affected by the condition through six star-studded carol concerts, taking place across England and Northern Ireland (Thursday 5 – Friday 18 December).
Alzheimer’s Society Ambassadors Ruth Langsford, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Tony Robinson, Hugh Dennis and Lesley Manville OBE are just some of the high profile celebrities that will show their support for people with dementia by giving their favourite festive readings at the charity’s Carols by Candlelight concerts. It’s the first time Alzheimer’s Society will be hosting a series of concerts throughout the country, locations including London, Warwick, Sheffield, Rochester, Winchester and Belfast.
A diagnosis of dementia has a distressing life-altering impact. Sadly, more than two-thirds (77%) of GPs believe patients don’t get enough support from adult health and social services after a diagnosis and half think that the NHS is doing too little to care for people with the condition*. Alzheimer’s Society offers a range of advice, information and support services across Wales, England and Northern Ireland to help support the 850,000 people living with dementia.
Guests attending the concerts will be treated to a range of festive activities, including music from Alzheimer’s Society’s own singing groups, guest speakers talking about their experience of dementia, and a reception of delicious mince pies and mulled wine.
Speaking about the concerts, ITV’s This Morning presenter, Ruth Langsford, whose father died of dementia, said: “I am delighted to be hosting one of Alzheimer’s Society Carols by Candlelight concerts. The concerts are a wonderful way to get together with your friends and family and enjoy the festive season while supporting such an important cause.
“Dementia affects 850,000 people across the UK and all the funds raised from the concerts will be used to support people affected by dementia. As someone whose father died from Alzheimer’s disease and has experienced the invaluable support that Alzheimer’s Society services can give people affected by the condition, who are often left isolated and unsure of where to turn, I know just how vital this is.”
Among the charity’s special guest speakers will be Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Wendy Mitchell. Diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease just over a year ago, the 59-year-old mother of two from Yorkshire said: “My Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis was a pivotal moment in my life. Initially I felt helpless, acutely aware that Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, but thanks to the support of my family and friends, I now know that living well with dementia is possible as long as you are supported to adapt to new ways of living.
“I am very excited about speaking at Alzheimer’s Society’s Carols by Candlelight. Like me, Alzheimer’s Society believes that people with Alzheimer’s disease still have an enormous contribution to make, and the charity works hard to ensure people stay connected to their lives and the people who matter most.”
As part of Alzheimer’s Society’s commitment to creating Dementia Friendly Communities, all of Candles by Candlelight concerts will be dementia-friendly, meaning that they will be fully supportive of people with dementia in attendance through dementia-friendly signage, additional stewards on hand to guide people to seats and volunteers being briefed to ensure they have an understanding about the condition and how it may affect an individual.
Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk