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Leeds Beckett Events To Support Dementia Awareness Week

LeedsBuckettLeeds Beckett University is hosting a week-long programme of innovative, informative and interactive events in a bid to raise awareness about dementia within society.

Led by the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Dementia Awareness Week will run from Monday 16 May to Friday 20 May and will include public lectures, a play and lunchtime ‘quick-bite’ research seminars open to students, staff and the public. For the full schedule of events visit: http://bit.ly/LeedsBeckettDementia.

Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies at Leeds Beckett, said that the week will particularly encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their concerns by addressing dementia directly and seeking information and support.

“We are running a range of events across both university campuses to help raise awareness about dementia among our students, staff and the wider community,” commented Professor Surr.

“Even though people are more aware, there’s still a great stigma around dementia and, although people have heard of it, they don’t necessarily know enough about it to be able to support people. This week is a really good opportunity for us to talk about dementia in a more positive light and let people know what they can do to help and support people they might meet with dementia.

“Through the Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Slee, the University has committed to working to become dementia-friendly, by signing up to the Leeds Dementia Action Alliance. During the week we will be asking students and staff to suggest pledges the University should make in its action plan to become dementia-friendly.”

On Monday 16 May, a public lecture, ‘Why being dementia-friendly matters’, will be held from 5.30-7pm and will include short presentations from dementia awareness campaigner Wendy Sharps; Community Development Manager  at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nicky Taylor; and Professor Surr, who will discuss why having a society and organisations within it that are dementia-friendly is important.

Acclaimed Leeds playwright, Brian Daniels will hold two public performances of his play about early onset dementia, ‘Don’t leave me now’, on Tuesday 17 May. A cast of five professional actors will be performing a dramatised ‘script in hand’ reading of the play which explores, with humour and insight, the impact on two very different Yorkshire families, before and after, an early onset dementia diagnosis.

Throughout the week there will be five ‘Dementia Friends’ sessions where attendees will learn more about dementia and how to help create dementia-friendly communities. Sessions are open to the public and available across the University’s city and Headingley campuses and at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

For the lunchtime ‘quick-bite’ research seminars people are encouraged to bring their lunch and listen to a short overview of some of the dementia-related research that is taking place at Leeds Beckett University and other institutions in the region.

Places for the events are limited and booking via the above link is required. For any enquiries please contact dementia@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

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