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People living with dementia to have their voices heard thanks to £150,000

A UK-wide project that brings together people’s diverse experiences of living with dementia as a series of audio diaries, were recently awarded £149,696 from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief.

The joint funding – thanks to National Lottery players and Comic Relief supporters - will enable people living with dementia to have their voices heard and will support the drive to change attitudes and perceptions about dementia.

Dementia Diaries is run by Innovations in Dementia. Launched in 2015 by On Our Radar, it documents the day-to-day lives and views of people living with dementia across the UK.

Diarists are able to record their audio diary entries on their own mobile phones or landlines, or on easy to use mobile handsets, capturing thoughts and experiences as they occur, which are then sent via the internet to the Dementia Diaries website.

Previously, the platform has been used to raise awareness about the realities of life with dementia, but thanks to the grant, Innovations in Dementia will be able to expand its work, for example by providing more insight into the development of services that will meet the needs of people living with dementia.

Many of the diarists belong to groups in DEEP, the UK Network of Dementia Voices. People living with dementia are one of the most marginalised and stigmatised groups in the UK according to the World Alzheimer Report 2012[1]. This project enables those who may otherwise not have the opportunity to have their voices heard and to share their experience globally of living with the condition. The diaries can be heard at

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This National Lottery funding will empower people living with dementia to have their voices heard and put them in the lead to help shape their future and the future of others living with dementia. We are excited to be supporting this innovative project and look forward to seeing an impact on attitudes and understanding of the real lived experience of dementia.”

Ruth Ruderham, Grants Director at Comic Relief, said: “Supporting those with dementia to raise awareness and a greater understanding of the illness through their own words is something we are passionate about at Comic Relief. Through this initiative the nation will gain a unique insight into their lives, from the challenges to the surprising uplifting moments, to help drive support in local communities.”

Philly Hare, Director of Innovations in Dementia, said:  “We are thrilled at the new funding arrangement and confident that the future of Dementia Diaries is very bright. It is a unique way for people with dementia to express their views and tell their stories, at any time of the day or night and without even having to leave their own house. Some of the diaries address high-level policy issues, while others may seem mundane – but they are all of equal importance.”

Wendy Mitchell, a diarist for Dementia Diaries, said: "I used to be a very private person but I was so appalled at the lack of awareness and lack of understanding about dementia that I now shout from the roof tops at every opportunity simply to get people talking about dementia. Through Dementia Diaries, we’re allowed to voice our opinions, our feelings, our thoughts, to enable those without dementia to take a glimpse into the reality of our world."

The Big Lottery Fund is the UK’s largest community funder and distributes 40% of National Lottery good causes funding. Last year, the Big Lottery Fund awarded over £700million to communities across the UK last year, thanks to National Lottery players. Since Comic Relief began over 30 years ago, more than £1 billion has been raised to help people both here in the UK and across the world, including funding over 100 projects that help people affected by dementia.

For media enquiries:
Kayleigh Sandwell, Strategic Communications Manager at the Big Lottery Fund- or on 020 7211 3728


Kirsty Reid, Media Manager at Comic Relief- or on 020 7820 2516

Notes to Editors

The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.





Innovations in Dementia has received £149,696 in total from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief to run the project over three years.


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