Having been formed more than forty years ago by a small group of carers, the Alzheimer’s Society came together with a series of Christmas carols to celebrate the occasion.

Performances by the Salford Cathedral Choir and Singing for the Brain embellished the Christmas spirit in bringing the community together in the fight against dementia.

There were speeches from Director of services Tim McLachlan and Dr Joy Watson, Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society.

With 2,500 people in Greater Manchester living with Dementia, Dr Watson spoke of her happiness at being chosen as a guest speaker for the charity on its 40th anniversary celebration: “Tonight’s event has been very exciting because it helped me get into the festive mood.

“Because my Dementia affects me in all sorts of ways

“Some days I get up and I’m fine, other days I get up and I can’t function at all.

“So being invited along tonight has helped me to feel valued, useful and to feel part of something that is exciting and fun.”

On the challenges she’s faced personally, Dr Watson elaborated on how Alzheimer’s can be combated within the community.

“I think the bottom line is for people to come together.

“Whether they have Dementia or they are a carer for someone with it. And as we heard in the service being able to talk is the key.

“If we start talking about Dementia and engaging with each other as to how it affects us, whilst giving people positive input that they can live good lives after a diagnosis. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

An estimated 850,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia and these figures will increase to over one million by 2025, according to statistics.

On Alzheimer’s in Salford/Greater Manchester

A person’s risk of developing dementia rises from one in 14 over the age of 65, to one in six over the age of 80, according to Dementia Statistics Hub.

While Alzheimer’s research shows that 4.4% of people have developed early onset of the disease under the age of 65.

Naomi Lewis, Outreach Officer and Dementia Lead of Salford Community Leisure hailed the event as the ideal place for people to celebrate Christmas and make new friends.

“Today is a time of celebration and a chance for people to get together at Christmas by singing carols and be with their family, friends, and the people they love.

It’s also important in raising awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society and the issues facing people affected by Dementia.”

Guest George Davis also spoke warmly about the success of the event: “I’ve enjoyed coming tonight. It’s been uplifting and very pleasant.

“I thought it was nice knowing people that care about the cause.”

Image credit: James Spencer. Info graphics credit: Abi Walker. Video editing credit: Abdul Shikhmous. Television package: Matthew Orobosa.

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