Kids’ TV presenter Richard McCourt returned to his Sheffield roots to help kickstart a fundraising partnership for the Alzheimer’s Society.
The star, best known as one half of TV duo Dick and Dom, visited Tesco in Abbeydale Road to show his support for the campaign which aims to raise £5 million to build a better future for people with dementia.
The former Tapton School pupil’s mum was diagnosed with dementia aged just 58, and died six years later.
The charity launch came as the Alzheimer’s Society revealed the results of a Mapping the Dementia Gap study - which showed 53 per cent of people living with the condition in Sheffield have an official diagnosis.
The figure is above the 40 per rate nationally.
But the research also showed across South Yorkshire there are still 7,929 people who live with dementia but do not have a diagnosis.
Richard, aged 34, originally from Lodge Moor, said: “It’s important we raise awareness of dementia, otherwise in 10 years’ time over 3,600 people in Sheffield will go undiagnosed and will not have access to the care and support they need.”
The Government has launched a pilot campaign aimed at increasing early diagnosis of the condition.
In Sheffield work already being carried out includes a Memory Clinic - where people can undergo specialist tests and assessment for dementia .
Dr Peter Bowie, consultant and clinical director in old age psychiatry at Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust which manages dementia services in the city, said: “The figures show Sheffield is very committed to dementia services.
“Early diagnosis is important to managing dementia. Another of the reasons Sheffield may be doing well is there is awareness among clinicians of anti-dementia drugs, which can be of benefit to patients in the early stages.”
Nicki Dyson, area manager for the Alzheimer’s Society in Yorkshire, said: “A diagnosis of dementia is not just a label - it is vital to help people access support, get treatment and make sense of what is happening.”