Beccles youngster Daisy uses family experience to inspire others to learn about dementia

Ten-year-old Daisy McDowell, of Beccles, who has become a Dementia Friend to raise funds and awarene

Ten-year-old Daisy McDowell, of Beccles, who has become a Dementia Friend to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimers Society. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A Beccles youngster is inspiring others to learn more about dementia, after her grandad was diagnosed with the condition two years ago.

Daisy McDowell, 10, became a Dementia Friend last year after a distressing visit to see her grandad at the home where he is being cared for. He no longer recognised her or her family.

But determined to support him any way she could, and help others with the condition, Daisy started researching online and came across the Alzheimer's Society initiative.

Over one million people have now signed up to become a Dementia Friend, aiming to change people's perceptions of the condition.

Daisy said: 'It is something good to do because I know my grandad has got dementia and I wanted to turn something negative into something positive and do something good for him and other people with dementia.'

Daisy wants to help raise awareness so that people affected by dementia are better understood and supported by their community.

Her mum Carolyn McDowell said: 'It's hard for adults to understand, but it's even harder to explain to a child how someone who has been part of their life for 10 years no longer recognises them.

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'I said to Daisy that although it's very sad he is still your grandad, so we started researching online so she could understand more and help other people going through it.

'I'm really proud of her, she has handled it with a lot of maturity.'

Daisy attends The Old School Henstead and as part of a school trip, she climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales. She asked friends and family to sponsor her climb and after seven hours and over 44,000 steps, she made it up and down the mountain. She raised over £380.

She said: 'It was really hard, but when I got to the top I was so happy I did it.'

Daisy and her Year 6 classmates are now organising a cake stall on June 12 to support the Alzheimer's Society Cupcake Day and raise further funds. They will also be presenting an assembly on being a Dementia Friend.

For more information visit dementiafriends.org.uk

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