DementiaGo Danceathon - dancing to raise funds and awareness of dementia

Date: 15/08/2017

People from all over Gwynedd and further afield recently came together at Glaslyn Leisure Centre in Porthmadog to take part in a charity event to help raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

 TV personality, Russell Grant who took part in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing programme led the ‘DementiaGo Danceathon’ which was a fun-filled afternoon of dancing and laughter for all who took part.

 The event was part of Gwynedd Council’s DementiaGo physical activity and community support programme for people living with Dementia and their carers. There are weekly classes run in five Council leisure centres throughout the county.

 Emma Quaeck who is the Project manager for Gwynedd Council said: “We wanted to put on a special event to bring all our regular class participants together for a little bit of a day out and to raise awareness of dementia and the fact that those who are diagnosed with the condition are still able to get out and enjoy themselves.

 “We opened the event out to the general public and over 160 people of all abilities came along. Feedback has been amazing, so I think it’s definitely something that we need to look at doing again.”

 Russell Grant has experience of what it is like to care for someone with dementia as his grandmother had Alzheimer’s. He understands how dementia not only affects the person but also the whole family and he was happy to help out on what would have been his grandmother’s 121nd birthday. He used his TV dancing experience to guide everyone to dance samba, salsa and cha cha to songs he had performed with his Strictly partner Flavia Cacace.

 There was also entertainment from the local U3A singing and dancing group who performed songs from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Everyone attending had a well- deserved cuppa and a cake before leaving which were kindly donated by members of the public, the Good life Café and Idris Café. A total of £339 was raised for Alzheimer’s Research.

 One participant, Glenda Cobin who came all the way from Colwyn Bay said: “It was a very special day. Everyone was so happy.”

 Councillor Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member who leads on Leisure matters added: “We are proud of the fact that a number of the Council’s leisure centres offer these popular DementiaGo sessions. Not only do they offer a chance for people living with dementia along with their care-givers to get out and take part in physical activity, but they also provide a chance to enjoy, socialise and chat with friends.”

 For further information about the weekly DementiaGo classes or about how to become a ‘Dementia Friend’ please contact Emma Quaeck by emailing emmajaynequaeck@gwynedd.llyw.cymruor call 07768988095.