A FORMER Coronation Street director has been inspired by her sister to donate the proceeds of her first novel to a dementia charity.
Kay Patrick, who was brought up in Leeds, wanted to support research into the devastating condition after her elder sister June was diagnosed with dementia two years ago.
The news prompted Kay, 74, to retire from her job at Coronation Street in 2015 and she has now penned her first book, The Trial of Marie Montrecourt.
Her earnings from the book, a crime novel set in Edwardian Yorkshire, will go to Alzheimer’s Research UK to fund studies into dementia.
Kay, who trained as an actress at RADA and acted in Doctor Who alongside William Hartnell before going into radio and TV production, said: “My sister is still quite capable but has lost some of her animation. She’s still my sister, but we don’t know how long that will last. What really brings me to tears is her awareness of what’s happening. She knows what’s going on but there’s nothing she can do about it.
“When I found out that June had dementia, I wanted something positive to come out of what was a terrible shock – something constructive to arise from a condition that’s so destructive. Research is fundamental to controlling and understanding this illness.”
This week is Dementia Awareness Week and events are taking place throughout the region, including a public lecture today at Leeds Beckett University on why society should be dementia-friendly.
There will also be two performances tomorrow of a play about early onset dementia by Leeds playwright Brian Daniels, and throughout the week there will be Dementia Friends sessions at the university and West Yorkshire Playhouse.