Cutting-edge short films show impact on young people supporting family members who have dementia
A ground-breaking film campaign shows young people shine a light on their experiences of supporting people with dementia, in an effort to raise awareness and tackle stigma among young adults and teenagers.
The ‘Dementia doesn’t define us’ campaign from Dementia UK features amazing stories about how young people aged 16 to 20 have coped with members of their family being diagnosed.
Dementia UK is the only charity caring for the entire family of a person with dementia through specialist dementia nurses – Admiral Nurses.
The focal point of the campaign is a powerful poem by Denneil Dunbar, an aspiring spoken word poet from Croydon, whose work describes what it’s like supporting his mum who has dementia.
The 20-year-old agreed to perform his poem on camera to in order to help other young people who might be going through a similar experience.
He said: “I was inspired by the emotions that my mother’s condition evokes. My reason for taking part in this film is to provide a voice for the young people like me, who otherwise don’t see any sort of representation, and thus it’s easy for them to feel alone.
“I know I felt alienated from other kids in certain situations because I felt like what I was going through wasn’t normal. That’s why things like this film are important.”
Denneil’s poem forms part of a suite of emotional films of four young people – Denneil, Emily, Sam and Joe – talking about how they have supported a relative with dementia.
Dementia UK understands that a diagnosis of dementia affects the whole family, which is why the charity supports people in the community, in hospitals, hospices and in care homes, as well as answering questions and offering advice on the free Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline.
Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia and their families and offer one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions so they can face dementia with more confidence and less fear.
Rachel Thompson, Admiral Nurse, said: “Young people can find the changes in a relative with dementia very distressing. If it’s a grandparent, then they might be witnessing the impact that caring for that person has on their parents. Or if it’s their own parent, they might end up being their parent’s primary carer. Their relationship might change, and it can be a lot to process.
We want every family affected by dementia to have access to an Admiral Nurse – who can understand their situation and offer advice and support to help them get through the toughest times. Until that happens, we will create resources like these films and the information on our website, so that everyone, of every age, can get the information they need to face dementia with more confidence.”
This filming project was produced and supported by Dementia UK’s corporate charity partner Central England Co-operative.
The full suite of films alongside specialist resources and information for young people impacted by dementia can be found at www.dementiauk.org/youngpeople
Notes to editors
About Dementia UK
- Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through Admiral Nurses
- If you need advice or support on living with dementia, contact Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or email email@example.com. The Helpline is staffed by experienced Admiral Nurses, who give vital support by telephone or email, and open 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on weekends
About Central England Co-operative
Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK.
It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.
Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.
Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility. It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence. The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.
Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to member activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.
For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative
Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390