On Monday 9th December, please come and join me in welcoming the Az2B Theatre Company to the Houses of Parliament where they will stage their production of Grandma Remember Me.
Grandma Remember Me is a beautiful story about a special relationship between a Grandma and her Granddaughter. It explores the importance of memories and relationships within our lives and how to keep and treasure them. Drawing on the experiences of living with someone with dementia, Grandma Remember Me is a moving and entertaining story told through a mix of puppetry, drama and storytelling.
Although aimed primarily at children, who often find this condition confusing and even frightening in their elderly relatives, the play can also be used with medical students. Indeed, in my constituency the play is part of the training of doctors and nurses at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro helping learning about communicating the condition and its effect to those who are affected and their relatives.
This short play has already received support from across the political divide with endorsements from David Cameron MP, Ed Miliband MP and the Care Minister, Norman Lamb MP. It has also received excellent reviews as it has toured around the country and will soon be going international when it is performed to the Alzheimer’s Disease International conference in India.
With approximately 800,000 people across the country affected by dementia, this play is an excellent opportunities for MPs and peers to see how innovative ways such as this can help to raise awareness of dementia; increasing understanding, the importance of early diagnosis, de-stigmatisation and supporting living well with dementia.
I am delighted that this play will be staged for MPs and Peers just days before the UK hosts the first G8 summit specifically dedicated to tackling dementia at an international level. This builds on the personal leadership of the Prime Minister and his Challenge on Dementia. With current estimates suggesting that 35.6 million people across the globe are living with dementia and according to the World Health Organisation this will double every 20 years, all our lives will be effected. Meeting this challenge requires international collaboration and cooperation.
That is why I feel so strongly that we all need to play our part in understanding dementia, enabling earlier diagnosis as well as enabling people to live better with dementia, while research leads to more effective prevention and treatment.
I am extremely grateful to Az2B for performing Grandma Remember Me and for telling this story in such a moving, considerate, yet entertaining way. Please take a short break from your busy day and join me. Call my researcher Greg Munro on 0207 219 8210 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.