‘Dementia affects people just the same’

Brenda Blackshaw, Fairhaven councillor
Brenda Blackshaw, Fairhaven councillor
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A Fairhaven councillor who has spent three decades caring for others says she is just happy to help.

Brenda Blackshaw, who was elected to represent Fairhaven in May last year, was recently involved in Clifton Hospital’s Dementia Awareness Week.

She helped to organise a visit to the dementia ward with comedian and actor Bobby Ball, sourcing great raffle prizes to raise money for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Peace of Mind Appeal and opening Clifton’s Carers’ Day, along with comedian Mick Miller.

But Brenda was used to lending a hand.

The former restaurant and banqueting manager for the Dalmeny Group has a long history of helping others, through an amazing variety of voluntary work.

She said: “I have always loved to help others and have cared for others for the last 33 years.

“I have opened my home for respite care for children with learning difficulties; given my time for a sitting service and cared for my mother, when she had a stroke and was very confused – which is why I am now supporting dementia causes.”

Originally from Macclesfield, Brenda moved to the Fylde through her husband’s company relocation, and now lives in Lytham.

Brenda was keen to get involved specifically with Clifton Hospital, as it is in the heart the ward she represents.

She said: “Rich or poor, dementia will affect people just the same.

“I don’t think that local people are aware of the services at Clifton.

“There are so many services that can help carers and suffers of dementia – they don’t need to be alone.”

Brenda is also keeping a keen eye on the development of the Whyndyke Farm site in Blackpool, which will feature dementia-friendly homes.

She explained: “We will be meeting a current dementia patient, who is advising on the features that would be needed at the development.”

She is also supporting friend Bobby Ball and his wife Yvonne in putting on a comedy show next year, in aid of Blackpool Hospital’s Peace of Mind dementia appeal – and is currently using her long list of contacts to donate prizes in order to raise money.

She added: “I enjoy helping people in need and if I can also help the local people access the vital services they need by helping raise money, then I am glad to do so.”