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Rugby star joins campaign to raise dementia awareness

Rugby star joins campaign to raise dementia awareness
19th March 2013

England Sevens rugby union star Ollie Phillips has become a Dementia Friend.

The 30-year-old winger attended the recent NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo at London's ExCeL Exhibition Centre and spoke to health and social care workers about the plight of his grandmother Audrey, who passed away with dementia in January.

Afterwards, Phillips attended a one hour Dementia Friends session held by the Alzheimer's Society.

"The Dementia Friends session I attended today really put me in the shoes of someone with dementia, and made me think about what it's really like to live with it on a day-to-day basis," he said.

Phillips added that it is important to improve society's understanding of the cognitive condition and that it was a "privilege" to take part in the session.

Research from the Alzheimer's Society found that around 800,000 are currently affected by dementia in the UK, but that figure is expected to rise to more than 1.7 million by 2051.