Wigan grandma inspires children's book about dementia
and live on Freeview channel 276
A new children’s book is set to help youngsters to learn about dementia after a crowd funding campaign for publication.
Alex Winstanley hopes to make the complicated disease, and the distressing emotions that come with it, easier to understand with his colourfully illustrated book, My Grandma Has Dementia, which will be published soon following a successful fund-raising initiative to pay for a print run.
As the title suggests, Alex has drawn from his own family’s experiences, to create an accessible way for children to learn about the disease and how to understand their own emotions when a family member is suffering.
“I was inspired to write the book by my legend of a grandma, Mary,” said Alex, who co-founded Wigan based disabilities group Happy Smiles CIC.
“When she was diagnosed with Mixed Dementia over 10 years ago, our family weren’t sure what life would look like for her. It’s been a journey of ups and downs ever since, and we have learnt a lot along the way!”
“So I want to share my grandma’s story, to educate children and young people about the impact that Dementia and Alzheimer’s can have on an individual and their family.”
He went on: “It is recognised that there is a crisis in children and young people’s mental health care.
“When a close family member or friend develops dementia, each member of the family may be trying to cope with their own feelings.
“Adults may be upset, tired or stressed – or simply not at home as much. All of these changes can make a child or young person feel anxious.”
Alex hopes that this could spark a series of books, and has already started to write about other conditions.
Alex went on: “I have already started a series about other conditions to follow on from this book.
“My organisation, which delivers training led by disabled young adults, also plan to read the books across schools and community groups.”
The book will be published and available to buy, with donations from sales supporting the fight against Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It will also be read across schools and community groups by a team of Inclusion Champions (young adults with disabilities), from Happy Smiles.
Now that the book has hit its fund-raising target, Alex has pledged that any extra money raised will be used to donate books to schools and local good causes.
This comes after a national social care charity, Community Integrated Care, donated the rest of the funding for 25 books, that will be distributed across their care homes to inspire dementia-friendly, inter-generational work with primary
To find out more, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mygrandmahasdementiabook.
The Wigan Observer is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Wigan news and information online, you can subscribe here.