Stars come out to raise awareness of Dementia

New dementia abassador - Sir Paul McCartney Photo: PA Pictures

Some of England’s best-known celebrities are starring in a new short music film - part of which will be airing as an advert for the first time tonight - to support a new Dementia awareness campaign.

The Dementia Friends campaign from Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society aims to show that people with dementia can still live fulfilling and rewarding lives with a little help, understanding and kindness from those around them.

Sir Paul McCartney has joined the campaign as an ambassador for Dementia Friends as celebrities and volunteers perform one of The Beatles’ most memorable tracks ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’.

The cast-list includes Lily Allen, Chris Martin, Ray Winstone; Pixie Lott; Paul O’Grady; Leighton Baines; Fiona Phillips; Simon Pegg; Alesha Dixon and Ruth Jones and Sir Terry Pratchett, alongside Gina Shaw, a 61 year old singer and former nurse from Liverpool, who has dementia.

For more information about the Dementia Friends campaign, click here

Gina Shaw - Liverpool nurse with dementia Credit: ITV Granada

Dementia is one of the biggest health crises facing the UK – around one million people will be living with dementia in England by 2021.

The film will encourage viewers to become a Dementia Friend – which means gaining an understanding of the challenges faced by people with dementia and learning a few useful tips to help make life better for those living with the condition.

Dementia by numbers:

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**• £1.6bn a year is lost by English businesses due to dementia caring obligations

• 50,000 carers in 2014 will have quit their job due to caring responsibilities, and a further 66,000 will have to make adjustments at work • Carers spend 28 hours a week on average caring for someone with dementia

• Over a quarter (27%) of businesses surveyed have employed someone who needed to make adjustments to their working patterns in order to care for someone living with dementia.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt Credit: PA Pictures

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: “Dementia isn’t just a health condition – it attacks the fabric of our society and can take a huge toll on the families and friends of those affected by the disease.

''I am urging everyone – families, communities and businesses to come together to ensure that people with dementia can continue to live fulfilling and rewarding lives.”