A WAVE of blue will wash over Witney during the next few days as shops and businesses raise awareness of Dementia.

Hundreds of firms are set to turn their storefronts blue for Dementia Action Week 2019, which runs from May 20 to May 26 across the country.

For the last three years, Witney Dementia Action Alliance (WDAA) has marked the week with a programme of events aimed at 'turning Witney blue'.

Suzi Morgan, chairwoman of WDAA, explained that the aim is to make the town more Dementia-friendly all year round.

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She said: "It’s about getting people to act during the week and building that into their day to day lives. You can live well with dementia, rather than feeling you're no longer accepted once you're diagnosed."

As the week draws closer, more shops will show their support for the campaign by putting up blue displays in their windows.

At first, WDAA had to reach out to ask for businesses' support, but Ms Morgan revealed that the tables have turned.

She said: “Witney has really embraced it. Top Bags on the High Street is always the first shop to go blue - that’s like a sign to other businesses. Shops now contact us on social media beforehand and last year more than 250 got involved.”

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During the week itself, 10 free events will take place between Monday and Saturday, including a Tai Chi session on Church Green and an information session with Witney MP Robert Courts.

Next Saturday, residents can join the Golden Memories Walk, starting at Abingdon and Witney College at 10am.

That evening, Voice Box choir will perform at St Mary's Church for the Turn Witney Blue Concert.

The programme culminates on Sunday, with a 5k charity fun run and a cake sale at Fat Lil's Cafe on Corn Street.

Once that ends, WDAA is tasked with ensuring the momentum is not lost for the other 51 weeks of the year.

For example, Cineworld in Marriott's Walk now holds Dementia-friendly screenings on the first Monday of every month.

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Ms Morgan said: “We all have a role to play in making the country a Dementia-friendly place to live and that’s what Dementia Action Week is all about."

For more details call 01993 894000, email suzi.morgan@richmond-villages.com or search @Witney_DAA on Twitter.