Imagine you’re just starting to think about having a family, or you’re just hitting your stride with your career. These are just 2 of the endless possibilities you could be facing in your 30s. Now imagine all of that, and so much more, slowly being taken away, piece by piece. That’s the reality facing the 42,000 people living with young onset dementia.
Thought dementia was for “older people”? So did we. That was until YoungDementia UK, the national charity supporting those with young onset dementia, responded to our Christmas History Shaper Special call out in October.
Today, we’re incredibly proud to launch our #TheLittleThings Christmas campaign in partnership with YoungDementia UK (YDUK), which is raising funds to drive improvements to services for those living with the condition in the UK.
Everyone knows dementia affects people later in life, but most of us don’t know that you can be diagnosed as young as 30. For people diagnosed younger than 65, the consequences of their condition are often compounded by responsibilities like jobs, mortgages and young children. But particularly at Christmas, it’s the little things we take for granted that sufferers can miss the most.
We want to make a big difference this Christmas
#TheLittleThings is aiming to raise £9,000 for YDUK to improve services and support for people living with young onset dementia around the country. Right now, their efforts are limited due to receiving no government funding and being completely dependent on the generosity of the public. But the potential to transform lives with their specialist, compassionate services is immense.
YDUK supports people like Rae, who was diagnosed aged 49 and found herself jobless and isolated, have had hope and friendship brought back into their lives thanks to YDUK’s support.
You can help
We all have those little things that make Christmas special: the first smell of pine, warmth of mulled wine in our cold hands, the giggles when the kids run down the stairs on Christmas day.
For the thousands of young people living with dementia in the UK, awareness of their condition starts with the little things. Essential Christmas tasks like present shopping or cooking the Christmas lunch may become a challenge, and families have to adapt to the new demands that young onset brings. As the condition progresses, the support of family, friends and communities can make the difference between struggling and being able to adapt and live life.
Donate to the campaign today here https://www.youngdementiauk.org/christmas or text LITTLETHINGS 10 or LITTLETHINGS 20 to 70085 to donate £10 or £20
What’s the little thing that makes your Christmas special?
Let us know on Twitter by posting a video, photo or just writing it out. Don’t forget to include #TheLittleThings and tag us @ShapeHistory.
Set up a Facebook fundraiser
If you can’t donate but want to help us reach our £9,000 fundraising goal, you can make a Facebook fundraiser for YDUK by going to their Facebook page and clicking + Create Fundraiser.
The icing on the Christmas cake
What makes this campaign extra special is that it’s part of our History Shaper initiative, where we give our team the chance to work on issues they care deeply about with the freedom to push boundaries and learn new skills. Like our successful #LoveIsAllWeHave campaign for marriage equality in Northern Ireland this summer, the whole team has had the chance to get involved and work together to make a tangible difference to the world.