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Newcastle man leaves £10,000 to dementia charity

A Newcastle United fan has left more than £10,000 in his will to fund research into dementia - because he was always scared of the illness.

Ernest Brown, who lived in Heaton, died at the age of 82 after a stroke. His great nephew Tom Hanson said his grandfather had donated the money to Alzheimer's Research UK because he had always worried about developing it, although he never did.

"Ernie was a very sociable man. He loved chatting to people and telling stories. One of his worst fears was losing the ability to communicate."

– Tom Hanson

The charity thanked Ernest and his family for the gift, saying his legacy would fund 530 hours of scientific research.

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School leads the way with dementia

A school on Wearside claims to be leading the way towards a Dementia Friendly Society.

Bernard Gilpin School, in Houghton le Spring, is the only one in the North to take part in the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia and has now opened it's doors to welcome sufferers in.

It's the only school in the region to invite dementia sufferers and their carers in for specialist activites.

It's converted an old store room into this new space called the living room and will be hosting weekly events for older members of the community and dementia sufferers.

The mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Bob Heron, is also chair of governors of Bernard Gilpin Primary School.

He told our ITV Tyne Tees what they were trying to achieve.

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Working longer as state pension age rises

People in their 20s, 30s and 40s can expect to work for longer before they can claim a state pension.

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor indicated that the pension age would rise to 68 by the mid 2030s, and 69 in the mid 2040s.

How could these changes affect us, as individuals and a society?

It was a topic for debate on this month's Around The House, with the Sunderland Central Labour MP Julie Elliott, Redcar Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales and Rory Stewart, who represents Penrith and the Border for the Conservatives.

Watch the discussion here:

The dementia debate

800,000 people across the UK are living with dementia. This week, at a summit in London, the G8 nations pledged to work together to tackle the condition.

In a debate for our political programme, Around The House, the Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, acknowledged that society is 'playing catch-up' where dementia is concerned.

Both he, and the North West Durham MP Pat Glass agreed that improving care for people with dementia, and their carers, is a top priority.

Watch the full debate here:

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