Coronation Street star Richard Hawley spoke to people living with dementia.

The actor, who plays Johnny Connor on the ITV soap and whose father struggled for years with Alzheimer’s, spoke to people living with the condition and their carers at the event held at the Humphrey Booth Resource Centre in Swinton.

The event was organised by the Salford Institute of Dementia, in conjunction with Salford University, which brings together innovative research to find ways of positively helping people live with the condition, and has been funded by the Booth Charities.

It provided an opportunity for anyone living with dementia, particularly those newly diagnosed with the condition, along with their carers, to meet other people in the same situation and benefit from their support and advice.

It was also a social event, with entertainment from a slapstick comedian and opera singer Georgina Murray.

He said: “I think community events like this are really important. People can feel very isolated and I know that when they’re sharing their experiences that can be incredibly important. Dementia can be very socially embarrassing, and when you get out there and share your stories that can be a huge help.

“It’s very difficult, but bringing people together and educating them about how to live with dementia is such an important thing to do – particularly now as so many people in the country now are touched in some way or other by dementia.”

Prof Anthea Innes, Coles-Medlock Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia, said: “Coming to an event like this can feel quite daunting, particularly for a new care supporter or somebody who has only recently been diagnosed with dementia, so we always try to create an atmosphere where people can immediately feel at home.

“We’re really grateful for Richard’s support for this event, and from his own experiences he knows how important it is that people attend events like this and fight the social isolation that so often comes with dementia. I’d also like to thank the Booth Charities for their continued support in enabling us to organise these incredibly important events.”

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