Hundreds attend Dementia Conference to shape Strategy for Humber and North Yorkshire 

More than 100 people have attended a major conference in North Yorkshire aimed at improving the care of people living with dementia.

The conference, held at Rudding Park in Harrogate, was titled ‘Dementia: A Life Still to Be Lived’. The name was inspired by the late Wendy Mitchell, an NHS worker and dementia champion.

Wendy advocated for living positively with dementia and was determined to remind people that those living with the disease are not sufferers and that there is so much life to live.

The Humber and North Yorkshire Dementia Conference (which took place on Thursday, 21 March) was organised by the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society.

It allowed people with lived experience of dementia, care partners, voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) and healthcare professionals to come together and shape the future Dementia Strategy for the local population.

Data shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease continue to be the leading causes of death in Britain, accounting for more than one in 10 of all deaths across the country in 2022.

The day’s agenda included insightful guest speakers who shared information about the work and research across the system, as well as moving personal accounts from individuals living with dementia. 

Gemma Willingham-Storr, Programme Lead for Dementia and Urgent and Emergency Mental Health for the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership said: “We recognise the importance of addressing the complex challenges of dementia care, and this conference marks a pivotal step in our collective efforts to enhance the care and support available in our region. 

“By deeply understanding the needs of the individuals living with dementia and their care partners, we can tailor our strategy to ensure it accurately reflects our population’s diversity and upholds their continued quality of life.”

Danielle Cooper, Head of Local Services for Alzheimer’s Society, added: “Dementia is the biggest health and social care issue of our time. One in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime, and 900,000 people are living with dementia in the UK – including over 76,000 people in Yorkshire and Humber. 

“The conference brought together the Alzheimer’s Society, Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, other organisations supporting people affected by dementia, and, most importantly, people who have lived experience themselves. Their knowledge and skills will help shape how people affected by dementia can best be supported from diagnosis and as their condition progresses.

“I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the themes and discussions of the day with all our speakers and attendees, which highlighted how we can improve the experiences of everyone impacted by dementia across the region.”

To find out more about the dementia programme and the work they are doing, please email