CORONATION Street star Judy Holt, who played the role of a woman affected by dementia, has been helping raise awareness of the illness in St Helens.

Actress Judy, who portrayed the soap’s Lesley Kershaw in 2011 and 2012, opened a Living Well With Dementia event, organised by housing association Helena Partnerships and a number of local partners.

The event, at Saints’ Langtree Park, combined advice from legal and healthcare experts with 50s-style dancing and karaoke to create a fun and educational experience for people affected by the illness and their families, friends and carers.

John Kelly, from St Helens dementia support group Moving Forward, helped to organise the event.

He said: “The day was very well attended and we had lots of positive feedback, especially from friends and relatives of people who have been recently diagnosed.

“Accepting that you or someone you love has dementia is undoubtedly tough, but there is so much you can do to continue living life to the full and spreading that information was what the event was all about.”

Judy added: “I’d like to thank Helena for inviting me to such an inspiring event. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was honoured to be in such delightful and committed company.

“I thought that the event was very informative with talks from eminent professionals and stands from a variety of organisations.

“There was also an excellent role play from a couple living with dementia, which illustrated that a dementia diagnosis is not an end of life.

“I feel sure that everyone came away from the event wiser and determined to help in any way they can.”

The partners involved with the event were Helena Extra (the care and support arm of Helena Partnerships), St Helens Law, St Helens Council, The Alzheimer’s Society, St Helens Later Life Memory Service on behalf of the Five Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust (Halton & St Helens Division), Hargreaves Dementia Trust, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Age UK Midmersey, Looking Forward support group, Methodist Housing Association and St Helens Carers Centre.