An Audience with Scott Mitchell

On Wednesday 9th November, Calderdale volunteers, residents, health and social care workers and politicians met at Halifax Town Hall for a poignant ‘An Audience with Scott Mitchell.’

Scott, aged 60, became an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Research UK after the passing of his tremendous wife in 2020, Dame Barbra Windsor, best known for her roles as Peggy Mitchell in the British soap opera EastEnders and Carry On franchise after a 7-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

The event was set up by Calderdale Dementia Friendly Community (CDFC), a newly formed group to encourage dementia-friendly initiatives throughout the Calderdale area.

In the moving interview, MP Holly Lynch asked Scott a series of questions where he reflected on his love for his wife over their 27 years together, recalling fond memories and sharing the couple’s experience with Alzheimer’s.

Barbara received her diagnosis in 2014 but didn’t make this public knowledge until four years later.

One in two people experience dementia personally or will know someone experiencing the disease.

When one receives a diagnosis of dementia, it’s not just the individual, but the whole family that suffers.  

Scott said: “No two people have the same dementia journey…All of us need to be more aware, be more compassionate and considerate of everyone around us.”

In most cases, loved ones become full-time caregivers and sadly, become isolated, withdrawn and depressed themselves.

At the event, it was clear that many audience members shared the same feeling of being forgotten about once the initial diagnosis was made, whether this be through a lack of appropriate sign-posting from healthcare services or by friends simply not knowing how to approach the topic.

In Calderdale, we are extremely lucky to have services such as the Calderdale Dementia Hub, Memory Lane Café and the Carers Wellbeing Service amongst others, where support is available to those with, and caring for individuals with dementia.

However, this is not the case in every area across the UK.

Our Community Journalist was fortunate enough to have a private conversation with Scott after his interview, where he expressed his gratitude for the voluntary and community sector, often referring to volunteers as ‘angels’.

In their conversation, it was discussed how the sector can further support carers, Scott expressed how mentally challenging looking after someone you love can be, how easy it is to not check in with yourself and the impacts this has on one’s wellbeing.

He made it clear that having a couple of hours of respite a week is worth its weight in gold to many carers, but unfortunately isn’t as attainable as it should be, and many don’t know where to turn for support, or even if there is suitable support available.

Upon asking Scott what is one thing he wishes people knew and understood about the dementia journey, he became emotional.

Scott admitted that he grieved for Barbara as soon as she was diagnosed, but actually, he still had seven wonderful years with her.

His message was to ‘live in the moment’, he still had his wife, and they still had moments of laughter and fun.

If you’re interested in making your business, organisation or group more dementia-friendly, you can sign the Calderdale Dementia Friendly Community Pledge Below.

Please forward your application to

Do you or your organisation have inspiring stories that need to be heard? If so, the Community Journalist is eager to listen and share your stories!

Contact Jordan at