After Laura’s family member was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, she decided to take action and raise awareness in the best way possible – on roller skates. Wanting to both raise money and spread the word about dementia, Laura took on the challenge of skating every day in 2021 whilst encouraging others to become a Dementia Friend. We spoke to Laura to find out more.


Laura said: “After my family member was diagnosed, I wanted to raise money, but also awareness, around dementia. Raising money is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t always solve the issue. That’s why I decided to become a Dementia Friend, because it’s about gaining understanding and learning how to be more dementia-friendly within your community. That was really important to me, sharing that message with my friends.

“I got roller skates in December 2020 and decided to take on the challenge of skating every day in 2021 for Alzheimer’s Society. I had never skated before and quickly realised how hard the challenge was going to be! I fell over a lot, had quite a few bruises, and some days were really difficult to motivate myself. But after I decided to dedicate the challenge to support my family member, I had the extra motivation I needed and it felt so worthwhile.

“It was halfway through my roller skating challenge I became a Dementia Friend. Someone I skate with is a Dementia Friend and after she told me about the initiative I signed up straight away. I attended one of the virtual Sessions and the Dementia Friends Ambassador who ran it was really good. I learnt so much, things I would never have known about dementia. It really helped me understand what my family member is going through. I used to say people ‘suffered’ with dementia and I realise now that’s not right at all, you’re living with it. That helped me mentally cope with what was happening as well, just knowing more about the condition. Now I feel confident in knowing about dementia and can help other people to understand more too.

“After I became a Dementia Friend and started sharing more information, I had so many people message me about their own personal experiences. It felt great to be able to give people the opportunity to speak about what they were going through, I think more people need to talk about it because dementia isn’t spoken about anywhere near enough.

“I felt so happy when I finished the challenge – I didn’t think I was going to make it at one point! I had so many generous donations and raised more than £2,000, and my family member has said how proud they are of me. Now I’ve finished this challenge I’m going to continue taking those small actions as a Dementia Friend to continue to spread awareness. I like to share the Dementia Friends social media posts and make sure I am talking to my friends about dementia.

“If you’re considering being a Dementia Friend but not sure if you have the time, I would say you have got time! It takes five minutes out of your day to sign up, and your actions only need to be small to be a part of a big movement to change the perceptions of dementia in society.”

Become a Dementia Friend like Laura today. Sign up here.