Dianne Campbell, a young person from Wembley who is living with Dementia, has been shortlisted for the 'Positive Role Model' award at the National Diversity Awards 2016.
Dianne was diagnosed with vascular dementia at the age of 47. Speaking about her diagnosis she explained, "I have learnt to live well with Dementia but found that when I was diagnosed there was no service or ongoing support to help me come to terms or understand what dementia meant for a young person.
"My search for information led me down a path of exploration and I was quite shocked at how negative the available information was. I took it upon myself to learn as much as possible and I now do a lot of work to make Brent dementia friendly. People with mental health related issues learn from and support each other through peer support services. There was no service like that available to me and so Community Action on Dementia (CAD Brent) was established."
A big character in the community, Dianne also delivers workshops at St Mary's Hospital to Nurses, GPs and other staff and as a result of the sessions the hospital has introduced changes to the environment in order to more effectively supporting people with dementia in a hospital setting. Living in one of the most diverse boroughs in the UK, she is particularly concerned about the lack of dementia awareness within ethnic minority communities and regularly speaks to faith community leaders and resident association leads.
Speaking about the challenges in her role Dianne says: "The biggest barrier is that people do not understand dementia and see it as an old person's diagnosis. People can be dismissive and believe that people with dementia can't support each other. They see support only in terms of medical intervention and don't see the role that the community can in supporting people to live well."
"I am honoured to be shortlisted for this award and delighted that CAD Brent nominated me. I already feel a winner as I know that there is strong competition and I am very proud to be shortlisted. This award is not only about me but it's about people living with dementia and I am happy to share it. I am taking every opportunity given to me to raise awareness and show people that dementia is not just an older person's condition and young people get it too and we need to look after each other."
Charlotte Curran, who works alongside Dianne at CAD Brent and nominated her said: "We are extremely proud of Dianne having been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.
"The nomination acknowledges the work Dianne and CAD Brent do to help support people living with dementia in the Brent community."
The National Diversity Awards provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture. For a list of all the shortlisted nominees visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/shortlist/
For more information about CAD Brent visit www.cad-brent.org.uk