YEP Says, February 25: The importance of the kindness of strangers

Have your say

...and a milestone year for Leeds race

AS our population ages, the number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to more than treble over the next 30 years.

It is a cruel, insidious condition. It creeps in the shadows, quietly stealing from the sufferer their memories, their ability to function, their sense of their own self. Meanwhile their families and friends can only watch helplessly, knowing there is no cure, no going back to the life they knew before.

This week the Government announced that £300m would be spent on research into dementia, with Prime Minister David Cameron describing the condition as “one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime”.

Such focus from the heart of Government is much-needed and, of course, good news for sufferers of the future.

But what can we do now to make life a little easier for those affected today?

It is good to see the ‘dementia friendly’ pledges being made by businesses, retailers, local authority departments, public, private and voluntary sectors – and it is equally heartening to see our schools embracing the concept (see our story on page 20 today).

Suffering with dementia means relying on the kindness of strangers, trusting those around you to do right by you and not take advantage, hoping that the community you live in chooses to protect you, not betray you. In this, we all have a role to play.

A milestone year for Leeds race

When John Convery put on his running shoes to take part in the first Leeds Half Marathon in 1986 did he imagine that he’d be doing the same some three decades later? A remarkable achievement indeed.

It seems incredible that this event has been up and running (pun intended) for such a long time – and it’s worth noting how, since that day when John crossed the finish line in first place, Leeds has become a true road race city (thanks in part, of course, to the legacy of the much-loved, much-missed Jane Tomlinson).

We wish John all the very best in this event’s landmark year and hope he keeps on running for many more years to come.