Cush Jumbo OBE meets our Young Onset Dementia Activists

In a heart warming and powerful event, our ambassador and renowned actor Cush Jumbo OBE recently paid a visit to our Young Onset Dementia Activists (YODA), alongside Admiral Nurse Diana Okoukoni. The gathering aimed to shed light on the challenges faced by those dealing with young onset dementia and their caregivers, with the YODAs giving their invaluable perspectives on ways to improve services for people living with young onset dementia. 

Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses who provide life-changing support to families, are a crucial support system for those affected by dementia. Unfortunately, their low numbers creates a significant challenge for those who want their help. One YODA revealed they were still on waiting list over a year after their referral, and the others had not been contacted by an Admiral Nurse. 

Bringing her trademark warmth and empathy, Cush Jumbo OBE took part in the session. Before joining the group, she took the time to watch short documentary YODA Strikes Back!, learning about the group and gaining insight into the challenges faced by those living with young onset dementia. Cush truly connected with the group, making YODA Katie’s day when they chatted about one of Cush’s shows that she’s a big fan of! 

The gathering turned into a profoundly emotional and powerful exchange of stories, laughter, and tears. YODAs shared the common experience of being diagnosed and then left without support until they found each other. 

Also at the event was SEL Mind CEO Ben Taylor, who commented: “We know that our YODA group is really special, but it was brilliant to be able to introduce them to Cush, hear them share their stories and see what powerful connections and friendships have been formed through the group.” 

Diana’s presence provided hope, while Cush’s support made the YODAs feel seen and heard. The event really brought to light the impact of combining celebrity with healthcare advocacy, the power of shared experiences, support, and the urgent need for improved services for people living with young onset dementia.