Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign

Norrms McNamara: Purple Angel Spreading awareness far and wide

Torbay Weekly

Norrms McNamara, founder of the Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign:

Hi all, we have just come back from a few days in wonderful Cornwall and I am so pleased to report the message from the Purple Angel Ambassadors really is far reaching.

As I have mentioned before, we are so pleased that something that started right here in Torquay eight years ago is now recognised in more than 65 countries around the world but it’s always nice when you visit local counties around the UK and see the Purple Angel logo in shop windows.

My co-founder Jane Moore lives near Tintagel in Cornwall and has worked so hard to cover north Cornwall, and our friends in the south of Cornwall have covered Newquay thanks to Lynn Bartrip, Kay and team, and surrounded areas, but no matter if you go, to St Ives or Padstow, Wadebridge to Truro, you will see a Purple Angel logo in some shop window.

You have probably seen plenty around Torbay and our very first campaign all those years ago with the Purple Angel was to visit shops and businesses in Torquay and leave them some information for their staff to read.

We left just one poster page, so it’s not too much to take in and when all staff have read the information ,we awarded a logo to the businesses who told us all had completed this small task.

Wow! What a reaction we received and all positive too!

I always recall the first shop I entered and explained what we were doing to the manager and his first words were: “How much?”

We explained it was all free and the most wonderful thing happened… he started to talk about his gran who he had lost to dementia and you could tell by the emotion in his voice it was something he hadn’t spoken about for such a long time and looked as if a weight had been taken from his shoulders when he finished.

We knew that day we were on the right path.

He then asked why nobody had ever done what we were doing before and we just answered we didn’t know.

But at least the Purple Angel dementia campaign are doing it now.

Little did we know then that it would be the start of something not only UK wide but also global.

Within months we were contacted by so many organisations across the world asking how we were doing this and could they copy?

Of course, we said yes with no hesitation whatsoever.

It was so very hard at first to get them to understand we did all this for free and took months before they fully grasped what we were doing, and why, but once they had, I am happy to say they became fully onboard and it was wonderful seeing businesses worldwide with the Purple Angel logos on their windows.

In America, it also led to Purple Angel towns and cities being covered and decrees by sheriffs and mayors stating they are now Purple Angel towns.

This is just one of many campaigns we have done over the years, some successful, some not – after all we are only human.

But I just wanted to share as we approach nine years of the Purple Angel, how it first started and how the people of Torbay took us to their hearts and because of this, gave us the inspiration to reach even farther than we could have ever imagined.

If your business would like the information, please contact me.