THE daughter of an Alzheimer’s sufferer is calling on pupils to flaunt their school’s formal dress code and ditch uniforms for a day in a show of support to the 2,000 people affected by dementia in Swindon.
Amanda Franks’ life was thrown off kilter when her mother Cathy Davidson was diagnosed with Alzheiner’s at the age of 58.
And the 39-year-old from Oakhurst is now determined to raise more than £30,000 for Alzheimer’s UK towards vital research into the illness which turned her mum, now 64, into a person she sometimes barely recognises.
In a bid to help her reach her ambitious target, the mother-of-one is calling on children across town to break the rules at a Dress Down to Remember Day in aid of the charity.
So far Isambard Community School, Oakhurst Community Primary School and Bridlewood Primary School have pledged to take part in the day, with each pupil paying £1 to go to school in their regular clothes on the last day of term.
And Amanda hopes more schools will follow suit.
“Mum has always been the centre of our family, and when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 58, it was a terrible blow,” she said.
“Everyday things like making a cup of tea were challenging for her, and eventually as the disease crept on, my lovely placid mum became difficult and at times violent towards my dad.
“In January we realised that we had to move her into a home where she could receive the specialist care she needs, but it was a heartbreaking decision.
“I knew I wanted to do something to fight this dreadful disease, and I was shocked to learn that funding for dementia research is still far behind many other serious diseases.”
The Dress Down To Remember Day is just one in a series of events organised by Amanda in the lead up to a huge musical extravaganza, The Gig To Remember, due to be staged on November 8, to allow her to meet her £30,000 fundraising goal.
The showcase promises to be memorable, with Beatles tribute act the Bootleg Beatles and the UK’s number one beatbox band Duke among headliners.
Amanda added: “The aim of The Gig To Remember is to create a positive event and raise as much as we can for the research experts, but it was my nephews, Jack and Aaron Bradshaw, who came up with the idea to get schools involved too.
“I’m delighted that three schools have already given their backing, and hope lots more will join in with the event.”
Schools wanting to take part in the Dress Down To Remember day can contact Amanda on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To buy tickets for The Gig To Remember, which will take place at the Oasis Leisure Centre, visit http://thegigtoremember.com.