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Apprentice sculpture project highlights dementia awareness

07 Sep 2022

Two of our engineering apprentices have designed and manufactured a Forget-Me-Not sculpture to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease

Forget me not sculpture

In 2019, Nafeesah Hussain and Alisha Quinn attended a presentation from Dementia Champion Alex Shaw, which highlighted dementia as one of the biggest challenges we face globally, with fifty million people living with the condition worldwide. The session was a catalyst for Nafeesah and Alisha to do more to raise awareness of dementia, and they started a series of design meetings to explore what could be achieved to raise dementia awareness across campus.

They decided to take on the task of designing, developing, manufacturing and ultimately installing a Forget-Me-Not sculpture to raise awareness of becoming a dementia friend and supporting the spread of knowledge. The Forget-Me-Not flower has been used for centuries as a symbol of love, faith, hope and remembrance and has been adopted to serve as a constant reminder for all of us to ‘forget not’ the person behind the dementia.

Coronavirus halted installation, but Nafeesah and Alisha continued to push forward through the challenges to complete the project and find a suitable location for its display. The sculpture brought University technicians and apprentices together, working across specialisms to help with the generation, movement, and installation of this epic piece of art. Throughout the extended construction period staff, friends and external contacts became more aware of dementia and the effects it can have on the individual and their family.

The final location was decided in 2022 and the sculpture was installed 10 minutes from our campus in the Dementia Research Gardens a few weeks ago. It can be found at the Therapy Hub, 70 Daisy Bank Road, Longsight. The sculpture, visible to carers, staff, researchers, and patients was celebrated at an event to mark the start of World Alzheimer's Month.

The Skills and Development Team would like to thank all colleagues involved, for keeping momentum and continuing to value the importance of this project through its extended build and place period.

September is World Alzheimer's Month

  • World Alzheimer's Month is a global opportunity to raise awareness around, educate, encourage support of and demystify dementia. World Alzheimer’s Day takes place on 21 September as part of World Alzheimer's Month.
  • The theme for World Alzheimer's Month in September 2022 is ‘Know dementia, know Alzheimer's’.
  • Find out more about becoming a Dementia Friend or you can email dementiafriends@manchester.ac.uk