She played the role of Kelly Windsor in ITV Emmerdale from 1993. Since her final departure from the soap in 2011, she has done more television work as well as touring the UK with the theatre production 51 Shades of Maggie. She's also a proud supporter of Alzheimer's Society, a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new programme 'Dementia Friends' has been launched and she will be training to become a Dementia Friends Champion. People with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community. Dementia Friends is giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia - from helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia. I got the chance to discuss this topic further. Here are 13 Questions with...Adele Silva!
1. Hello Adele! You’re a huge supporter of Alzheimer’s Society – please tell us a bit about this charity and its aims.
Adele: Alzheimer’s Society is the leading support and research charity for people living with dementia. They not only support people diagnosed with the condition but also their families and carers, too. There are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK,with numbers set to rise to one million by 2021, so it’ll affect us all in some way at some point in our lives so it’s vital that we fight dementia now. The Society has a fantastic network of local services which provide support and advice for people living with dementia. They also invest millions of pounds in research to improve treatment for people today, and search for a cure tomorrow.
2. What made you want to get involved with this particular charity?
Adele: It’s personally affected members of my family and I ignorantly thought dementia only affected ‘older’ people so I want to get the message out there to all age groups and make as many people as possible aware of the condition. Not many people know that there are as many as 17,000 people under the age of 65 living with dementia in the UK.
3. Do you have any top tips or fundraising ideas for anyone who wants to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society?
Adele: I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in a few game shows for Alzheimer’s Society, donating the prize money to help the charity, but you can also raise funds in a number of ways. Sign up to a run, climb a mountain or even host a bake sale and get your friends involved.
4. Everyone hears about ‘dementia’. You, however, have already turned your understanding into action by becoming a Dementia Friend. Please outline what a Dementia Friend is and what they do?
Adele: Less than half of people feel they have a good understanding of dementia and yet 42 per cent of us know, or have known, someone affected by dementia. Dementia Friends is about giving more people an understanding of the condition and the small things that could make a difference to people living in their community. Being a Dementia Friend is about turning understanding into action. From giving a helping hand to someone struggling to find the right bus, to volunteering in your local community, to encouraging someone else to become a Dementia Friend, no action is too big or too small.
|Adele with Jamie Anderson |
training to be a Dementia Champion.
Adele: A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help. I’ve seen how members of my family with dementia have benefited from the kind actions of strangers so see it as a very worthy cause.
6. How would you encourage others to also get involved and become a Dementia Friend?
Adele: It’s not just about giving something back it’s also hugely rewarding. All you need to do is register to go on a Dementia Friend information session, which would only take about an hour of your time. As part of the session you will be asked to commit to taking action that will help make a difference to the life of someone with dementia. You could even go one step further and train to become a Dementia Friends Champion, like me, and deliver your own Dementia Friends sessions to your friends and family or in your local community.
7. You played Kelly in ITV Emmerdale for many years - would you ever consider returning to Emmerdale and reprising the role of Kelly?
Adele: I always say never say never. The character still has links to the village so it is a possibility but not at the moment.
8. Do you have any plans to return to British television any time soon?
Adele: Being a jobbing actress involves all aspects of stage and screen work so as long as I’m doing that I’m happy whether that’s theatre, television or film.
9. Last year, in 2013, you toured the UK with 51 Shades of Maggie. What made you want to become a stage actress?
Adele: It was a role that came up and with it being a one woman show it was a real challenge but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
10. Do you hope to continue doing theatre?
Adele: As long as I’m working, I’m happy playing different and challenging roles. If I get the chance to do that again on stage, keep them coming!
11. If you could invite three famous people/celebrities to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Adele: Let's go with Roald Dahl as he was one of my favourite authors, David Walliams, an all-round entertainer, and Ellie Goulding for the music.
12. If you weren’t an actress, what would be your alternative career option?
Adele: Something to do with psychology – I’m interested in what makes people tick.
13. Do you have a message for everyone reading?
Adele: Sign up as a Dementia Friend or Champion! Go to dementiafriends.org.uk and register.
Don't forget, you can learn more about Dementia Friends and how to become a Friend or even a Champion! Visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk for more details on this amazing programme. You can also learn about other ways in which you can help by clicking here! It was great to interview Adele. Follow her on Twitter!
Thank you for reading!