England and Australia Women show support for people living with dementia

England and Australia showed support for people living with dementia

The England and Australia women’s teams showed support for people living with dementia at their sold-out friendly international.

Last night’s Alzheimer’s Society International saw England and Australia’s women’s teams join forces with one common goal, to help raise funds and awareness of Alzheimer’s Society’s crucial work.

As part of The Football Association’s newly-extended partnership with the charity to support those who have been devastated by dementia, the nation watched on as the squads took to the pitch without names on a third of their shirts.

The powerful stunt aimed to drive home the reality that 1 in 3 people born in the UK today will develop dementia – that’s 1 in 3 who may forget the name of their favourite player or most treasured football memory – unthinkable for most fans.

Different players wore the nameless shirts after half-time, to draw attention to the confusion and memory loss often experienced by those living with dementia. The England squad have donated these custom shirts to auction, raising funds towards Alzheimer’s Society’s life-changing support, which provides help and hope to thousands.

Sarina Wiegman England’s head coach said: “Tonight was a chance for both sets of players to come together in recognition of the many people living with dementia and their families and friends who help them. I’m very proud to see our players again continue to use their platform to show support for important causes – I hope it inspires fans to donate and support Alzheimer’s Society’s important work.

The fixture also saw sports correspondent Carrie Brown, whose parents are living with dementia, reveal a huge mural featuring unforgettable football memories from the England Women’s team. The inspiring installation, designed by MurWalls, allowed fans to add their own memories to the wall, encouraging conversation and raising awareness of the fact that although great football should be unforgettable, for many people with dementia, this isn’t often the case.

England and Australia showed support for people living with dementia

Carrie Brown added: “I’m honoured to be part of this very special match. Both of my parents are living with dementia – I distinctly remember the priceless smile on my mum’s face at the Women’s Euros final last Summer. Dad has one word he uses, and it’s “wonderful”; on that day, he repeated it constantly.

“Alzheimer’s Society was so helpful for us when my dad was first diagnosed, so it’s been a real pleasure to help support the charity today and raise money towards its support services, so no-one must face dementia alone.”

The FA has now announced its partnership with Alzheimer’s Society will be extended until July 2024. They will work together to help change the landscape of dementia diagnosis, by funding crucial research and working to make sure that an early diagnosis is accessible to all.

Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society CEO: “Right now, dementia is devastating lives and our services are proving to be a lifeline, helping people through some of the hardest and most frightening times. With The FA’s backing, we can reach more people than ever before, and we can reach them sooner.”

Over the past two seasons, the partnership has raised over £400,000, with thousands more fans, players and staff now knowing where to go to access vital dementia support. Alzheimer’s Society’s services have been used more than 4.5 million times in the past year alone.

Alzheimer’s Society has also worked with The FA to further understand the causes of dementia and its risk factors, providing expertise and ensuring The FA is prioritising and funding world-class research to best protect players for generations to come.

To donate and find out more, visit alzheimers.org.uk

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