A Scarf for Lewy – countdown to the big day

On 14th October 20202 The Lewy Body Society will unveil a 1600-metre scarf around the entire circumference of the Royal Albert Hall in London – five times – to show support for those living with Lewy body dementia.

More than 100 volunteers will be attending to help the dementia charity wrap the mile long scarf around the iconic landmark building.

Celebrities who’ve already knitted their #AScarfForLewy contribution include Dame Prue Leith DBL, TV presenter Anne Robinson, and actress Paula Wilcox, who currently stars in ITV’s Coronation Street as Elaine Jones.

Actress Susan Hampshire CBE, the star of many film and TV classics including The Forsyte Saga, The Pallisers and Monarch of the Glen, will be joining on the day and is supporting the event due to her personal connection with dementia, having cared for her husband Eddie who lived with the disease for 12 years until his death in 2021.

Susan said: “This wonderful project is not only a unique way of raising awareness of Lewy body dementia, but it has brought so many people together through knitting. I know first-hand how challenging it can be looking after someone with dementia so I am looking forward to talking to some of the carers who will be helping on the day.”

Crafters from across the country have knitted their own scarfs to contribute to the finished piece, making sure it reaches all the way around the iconic building (which it now does five times!).

The Lewy Body Society funds research into Lewy body dementia, a little-known type of dementia that is very different to the most common type, Alzheimer’s disease, and requires different support and treatment. It is the only UK charity focused exclusively on this type of dementia, and was the first in Europe.

It’s estimated that around 100,000 people in the UK have Lewy body dementia, around 10-15 per cent of the total with dementia. It can cause the motor problems associated with Parkinson’s disease, hallucinations and sleep problems, as well as the progressive decline in cognitive abilities found in other forms of dementia.

Jacqui Cannon, Chief Executive of The Lewy Body Society, explained the giant scarf would symbolise the wraparound support available for those living with Lewy body dementia, while also raising awareness of this very often misdiagnosed condition.

She said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Prue and her fellow celebrities for their support, and to all the knitters up and down the country and internationally who’ve got out their needles in support of A Scarf for Lewy.

“Through this unique event, we hope more people will hear about Lewy body dementia and show their support to families affected by the disease.”