TORFAEN Assembly Member Lynne Neagle has pledged to become one of Wales’ first dementia friends, at a launch event with Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones MBE.

Mrs Neagle joined the TV star – better known for in her role as Nessa – along with a host of other AM’s, for the official unveiling of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

The initiative aims to give people in Wales a better understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that could make a difference to people living with the condition – in a bid to make Wales more “dementia-friendly”.

A year-long pilot of the Dementia Friends programme is running in Wales thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

Mrs Neagle said it was an issue “close to her heart”.

“It was really great to be able to show my support for the launch of Dementia Friends campaign,” she said. “This is an issue very close to my heart and this really fantastic initiative should make a real difference in helping to foster the dementia friendly communities the Alzheimer’s Society hope to see across Wales in the years ahead.”

It is hoped four thousand people in Wales will become Dementia Friends in Wales by 2015.

Sue Phelps, director of Alzheimer’s Society in Wales said: “Most people don’t know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends is the perfect opportunity to be able to invite everyone to improve their knowledge. We are pleased to have been able to engage twenty-two AMs in one day. They have a huge influence in their local communities and we hope they will use this opportunity to take action and improve lives.”

To become a Dementia Friend, or for more information see