Dame Barbara Windsor is set to make a brave journey to Downing Street today where she will demand that Boris Johnson does more to help dementia sufferers.
The beloved actress, famed for her roles as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders and in the Carry On films, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and will hand the Prime Minister an open letter calling for funds to support others like her.
Windsor, 82, has been battling dementia for five years although she only made her diagnosis public in 2018.
She will make her pilgrimage to Number 10 today if she is well enough and has released a video thanking fans for their support.
In it, she is shown saying: “Thank you all so much for showing your support and signing the letter to our new Prime Minister.
"It means so much, let’s make this happen and fix dementia care.”
The letter, which she is presenting on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society, will demand that Johnson invests in the NHS Dementia Fund through Wednesday’s Spending Review and has been signed by 108,000 people.
We're so grateful to our new Alzheimer's Society Ambassador Dame Barbara Windsor, and her husband Scott, for joining our campaign to #FixDementiaCare.— Alzheimer's Society (@alzheimerssoc) August 6, 2019
Join her, and us, in calling on the Prime Minister to make care reform an urgent priority: https://t.co/ay0nX1fpKW pic.twitter.com/0u5k3T291C
Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell became ambassadors for the charity last month and are joining their fight to secure badly-needed funds for those affected by dementia.
Mitchell said: “My wife Barbara and I are so proud to be delivering this letter from the Alzheimer’s Society and all the tens of thousands of people who have signed it.
“This overwhelming response from the people across the country really shows the public outrage at the distress caused by our broken social care system.
“I’ve learnt so much about the struggles that so many people with dementia and their families face every day, just to get access to the care they need, and it simply cannot go on any longer.
“I cannot stress how desperately we need to see immediate action.”
Over 112,000 of you have signed our open letter calling on the Government to #FixDementiaCare as an urgent priority - thank you so much for your support.— Alzheimer's Society (@alzheimerssoc) September 2, 2019
Today, with our Ambassadors Dame Barbara Windsor & Scott Mitchell, we'll be handing that letter in to 10 Downing Street. pic.twitter.com/f4mrUg9b1L
Care costs families of dementia sufferers around £100,000 on average and the Alzheimer’s Society letter is calling for £2.4 billion to be put into an NHS Dementia Fund to help them shoulder the burden of costs.
Mitchell told The Mirror: “Barbara will be with us to hand in the letter as long as she feels up to it.
"She has known about the campaign since we went public in 2018 and was upset that people are finding it so hard to get social care and especially the lack of it for people living with dementia.
"It is possible I will have to remind Barbara why we are there, as that’s the nature of the illness.
“But her support is and always has been fully behind it.”