Telford woman's T-shirt social enterprise fighting dementia stigma
Story on: Shropshire Star - - By: Lisa O’Brien - - On: 22.05.2020
Lizzie Perry, who was born and raised in Priorslee, Telford, founded This is Dementia following her father's diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia – a condition that can cause staring and speech impairment, at the age of 58.
As a quick and visual solution to people’s behaviour, the 27-year-old had a T-shirt printed which read ‘Sorry for staring, it’s just my dementia’ which proved to be an instant help.
It allowed her family to relax when they were out in public and put concerns of strangers at ease.
Some people even began offering help and starting conversations when they read the T-shirt and understood the situation.
It inspired Lizzie to take her idea further to raise awareness around dementia and funds for Dementia UK’s admiral nurses.
“Watching the obstacles my dad and family face every day inspired me to educate others on how dementia is not just an illness that affects one person," said Lizzie, who now lives in London.
"I wanted to create an approachable way to have an open conversation and raise awareness about dementia without the negative stigma, which is how the T-shirt idea came to life.
"The T-shirts were designed by a good friend of mine, Jay Scott, and together we hope the designs put a smile on people’s faces, whilst delivering an important message.
This is Dementia has a unique range of specially designed T-shirts to raise awareness of young onset dementia, with 100 per cent of the profits being donated to Dementia UK.
The collection of hand-drawn T-shirts – which have been made using a donation of excess raw material from luxury fashion brand Burberry – aim to educate the UK on the prevalence of dementia by breaking down barriers and sparking conversation between generations.
They are unisex and the quirky designs have been specially crafted to raise awareness of the condition, whilst putting a positive and uplifting spin on the subject.
With each design comes a different story, touching on music, time, playfulness, love and positivity, all things that have become a barrier for those affected by the illness.
Currently, there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.
Hilda Hayo, chief admiral nurse and CEO for Dementia UK, said: “Here at Dementia UK, we’re extremely grateful to have someone like Lizzie show such passion and desire to support our charity.
"We believe her idea of creating unique, specially designed T-shirts will help to generate conversation and educate people throughout all generations on dementia as well as raise vital funds for our admiral nurses.”
All T-shirts are produced from 100 per cent repurposed fabrics, and where possible repurposed ribs for the necklines of the garments.
This Is Dementia's T-shirt collection is available in sizes XXS - XL and can be purchased at www.thisisdementia.co.uk