AN ACTION group has turned Witney blue to raise awareness of the fight against dementia.

Witney Dementia Action Alliance is encouraging residents to unite against the disease during Dementia Awareness Week, which started on Monday and will run until May 22.

The group hopes a variety of events throughout the week will encourage people in the area to help make Witney a more dementia-friendly community.

Volunteer representative for the Alzheimer’s Society in Witney, Linda Johnston, said: “We’re calling on people in the town to show their support during Dementia Awareness Week 2017.

“Dementia doesn’t care who you are. It could affect us all.

"It’s set to be the 21st century’s biggest challenge with someone developing it every three minutes, and so many people are facing it alone.

“People with dementia often feel – and are – misunderstood, marginalised and isolated but with the right support and understanding they can continue to live fulfilling lives and make a contribution to their communities.”

Retailers have been creating blue window displays throughout the week in order to raise awareness and promote the programme of events.

Members of the alliance are encouraging people to become Dementia Friends during the course of the week.

Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by the Alzheimer’s Society.

It is an initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.

Already more than 1.9m people have become Dementia Friends across the country.

Dementia Friends champion Suzi Morgan said: “Dementia can affect a person’s relationships and their connection to the world they love, leaving them feeling isolated and alone.

“By becoming a Dementia Friend you can help keep people connected to their lives and to people who matter most.”

There will be free one hour interactive Dementia Friends Information Session running at the Corn Exchange today between 10am and 11.30am, and at Richmond Witney retirement village between 10.30am to 11.30am on Sunday, May 21.

The team is available to visit individual groups, businesses and organisations to deliver Dementia Friends sessions upon request.

Other activities throughout the week include a tea dance at the Corn Exchange today at 2pm.

There will also be a memory walk through the town centre starting at 10am at Mountain Warehouse on Thursday, May 18.

The week is sponsored by Witney Rotary Club, which has funded the purchase of 4,000 blue balloons, posters and information cards.

The Witney alliance was created as part of Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia friendly communities initiative.