Dementia Awareness

Scottish Racing’s first Dementia Friends session held at Hamilton Park


As a follow-on from Scottish Racing’s support of Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week in June this year alongside the charity Alzheimer Scotland, a first ‘Dementia Friends’ information session has been held at Hamilton Park Racecourse with staff taking part.


Richard Lyle MSP attended the information sharing day as a supporter of the Alzheimer Scotland partnership. Mr Lyle sits on the Cross-Party Group on Scottish Racing and Bloodstock Industries at which Racing Together’s Eleanor Boden provided an update on community activity taking place across Scotland.


Scottish Racing has embraced the work of Alzheimer Scotland and has committed to stage Dementia Friends information sessions at all its courses. The sessions are interactive and will enable racecourse staff to increase their understanding of dementia. Dementia Friends outlines the small ways in which everyone can help support those living with the illness and their families.


With over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and the number on the rise, the work at Hamilton Park is the first step in a new partnership between Scotland’s national dementia charity and Scottish Racing.


Eleanor Boden, Community Engagement Officer for Scottish Racing, said: “This is an exciting development in the partnership between Scottish Racing and Alzheimer Scotland and I hope racecourses in England see this as a blueprint for future collaborations on making racing venues as inclusive as possible.”


Further activities are planned including the attendance of the Alzheimer Scotland Memory Bus at racecourses. The Memory Bus will offer attendees the chance to reconnect with people with past events.


Anne McWhinnie, Dementia Friends Programme Manager for Alzheimer Scotland, added: “We were delighted to host the first of many Dementia Friends information sessions for staff at the Hamilton Park Racecourse, as part of our wider engagement with the Scottish Racing communities.

“Our new Dementia Friends have all committed to making the small but vital changes that will help people with dementia to feel understood and valued in our communities. This is a crucial step towards building a Dementia Friendly Scotland, where nobody should face dementia alone.”

If you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in your area call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or visit the website at



Scottish Racing supports Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week

The five Scottish Racecourses (Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso, Musselburgh and Perth) are proud to announce the support of Alzheimer Scotland, during Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week commencing Monday 4 June until Sunday 10 June.

Developed through the new Racing Together Community Project in Scotland, all partner racecourses will help to raise vital funds for dementia and will be staging Dementia Friends information sessions for their employees and local communities with the goal of becoming dementia-friendly sporting venues. In addition, specific projects to assist in tackling dementia include the annual fundraising hospitality event at Kelso Racecourse, organised by the Borders Carers Trust.

Delly Innes, Manager of Scottish Racing, said: “ Dementia affects individuals throughout the entire community without prejudice. The sport of horseracing has a wonderful ability to bring people together, which is a great asset when tackling the widespread impacts of Dementia. We very much hope that through this partnership we will be able to promote the excellent work of Alzheimer Scotland to the broad community.”

John Blake from Racing Together, added: “One of the goals of the new Racing Together Programme in Scotland was to find meaningful partnerships that all the racecourses could support to maximise the practical help they could provide to their communities. The collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland is a perfect fit and an exciting development for the sport and, most of all, for people living with dementia, their families and carers.”

Alison Baker, Corporate Fundraiser from Alzheimer Scotland, commented: “We are thrilled that the racing community across Scotland is taking action for Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week to help make sure nobody faces dementia alone.”

“We’re looking forward to working with all five partner racecourses to help raise vital funds to support the venues and wider communities towards becoming dementia-friendly over the coming weeks and months.”

“We want people to join with us this Dementia Awareness Week and be part of a collective voice calling for the best possible information, support, care and recognition for everyone living with dementia. Together, we can make a real difference.”

During Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week, racegoers and those working in the racing community will be asked to wear an item of purple clothing or proudly wear the Alzheimer Scotland badge, which will be on sale at all racecourses. All proceeds will go to Alzheimer Scotland, the leading dementia organisation in Scotland.  There will also be various promotional material placed in race cards throughout the racing week.

For more information on Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week (4-10 June) visit Alzheimer Scotland’s official campaign website at ,share your activity and join the conversation on Twitter with @alzscot, @racingtogether using #DementiaAwareness.

There are 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and it is now estimated that 20,000 people will be diagnosed with the condition every year by 2020. If you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in your area call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or visit the website at


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