Noman 'Norrms' McNamara, the Torquay man behind the the Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign - Credit: Archant

Communication is the way forward

Communication is the way forward

Joseph Bulmer

This week, I had the great pleasure of speaking via zoom to a TV producer called Peter Coventry about the Purple Angel Mp3s we supply for free all over the UK to these with dementia.

He was, and still is, the producer of the programme ‘The Dementia Choir’, which was aired last year along with a Christmas special (A third series is planned for this year). The lead on this programme was none other than Vicky McClure, star of ‘Line of Duty’ and recently ‘Trigger Point’, sadly she wasn’t in on the call.

We chatted about what the Purple Angel had achieved in such a short time and how the Mp3s have such a huge impact, with 1000s of people with dementia around the UK benefiting from them. Peter’s first question (always is the same I talk about this) was: “Why hasn’t every care home in the UK implemented this?”

I explained we sent out over 1,200 last year alone and, even though he was impressed, he stated that nearly 900,000 have dementia in the UK and, if we could reach only a third of them, how incredible would that be?

I could not agree more but my only response was ‘answers on a postcard please’ because I have said it so many times. I am at a complete loss as to why people are not implementing these all over the UK.

Then, the conversation got even better as he said he would love to shout about this for us and possibly include a little bit of what we do in the upcoming series, how cool would that be? But, as always, we will have to wait and see, and who knows, I might actually get to talk to Vicky McClure herself!

All this is part of the ongoing Purple Angel dementia campaign, born right here in Torquay, to help all those with dementia. At this point, I have to say I am still at a loss as to why we haven’t heard from every care home in Torbay, in fact, very few have been in contact, despite numerous newspaper articles and social media exposure, which is puzzling to say the least.

We continue to try and explain to all who will listen, that these are free, no charge whatsoever, including postage packing and after service, and have been invaluable during Covid, when relatives have been restricted from visiting and been a wonderful comfort to so many.

Next week, I have a zoom meeting with the Editor in Chief of the UK magazine ‘Caring Times’ about the very same subject. This magazine is one of the most informative in the world of Caring in the UK and we are hoping to reach so many more once the article is published about our MP3s, so please wish us luck.

We recently held a wonderful Easter-themed day with, of course, an Easter bonnet parade at our Saturday memory café at Barton Baptist church. In past weeks, the attendance has been decimated because of Covid and the chest virus that’s going around Torbay but this day we thankfully had a great turnout.

Every person who walked through that door went home with an Easter egg courtesy of the Purple Angel dementia campaign, something we have been doing now for eight years. A few children from Torre primary school also attended on the day and a great generational gap became even smaller, with smiles all around.

I just love working in the community of Torbay.