A lot of you will know Jayne Connery from this year’s Big Brother. But, there is much more to the eye than meets this ex-glamour model turned journalist turned business woman. Jayne is a passionate ambassador and fundraiser for Dementia after her mother being diagnosed with the illness.
Dementia is something which can commonly be misunderstood as being an illness specifically related to elderly age, however, Dementia does also affect younger adults, which is something that Jayne also wants to increase the recognition of. The NHS definition for Dementia is that it “is not a single illness, but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain”. The NHS website then further goes on to give some things that you should look out for, including:
-Memory loss: remembering past events more easily than recent events, as well as problems thinking and following conversations.
-Feeling anxious, depressed or angry about the memory loss
-Feeling confused even when in a familiar and regular environment.
I was really interested and intrigued by Jayne’s determination and strive to raise awareness for Dementia, and wanted to learn more about her inspiration and decisions. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Jayne about this topic, have a look at what went down in my interview with Jayne Connery below!
Hello, Jayne! Hope you are well! So, you were part of this year’s Big Brother, how was that experience for you?
The BB experience was just that an EXPERIENCE. It was on my Bucket List to do and when I got through audition stages my family encouraged me to go all the way and take time out for ME. I went in as a Dementia Awareness Campaigner or I wouldn’t have done it.
You were very successful in raising the awareness of Dementia! You’re also very successful, having you career life include, being a glamour model and journalist and more recently being a private investigator. Do you have a highlight from your career?
I’ve had a very colourful career. Glamour model twenty years ago for a few years. I was a journalist interviewing celebs for 6 years which I adored at Heathrow Airport and very much regret leaving that profession. Years later I got into promotional modelling for most of my working career until a couple of years ago when I went into Surveillance work. But what I’m most passionate and proud of is my Dementia Awareness Campaign that’s been going for five years now.
So something which you’re really passionate about is Dementia and raising awareness of it. Was there something in particular which inspired you to work on raising awareness and recognition of the illness?
After my mum was failed in her first Care facility I set up Dementia Family Support Group on FB. I then became a campaigner for CCTV in all dementia care facilities after my mum was abused. Since five years ago I campaign for better care and understanding in ALL dementia care homes. I also champion better training and working standards /pay for Carers.
You’ve mentioned that your mum actually suffers from dementia, which I’m sorry to hear about. You are a carer for your mum, do you have any advice to someone who might in the same situation of having to care for someone with Dementia?
I think the most rewarding job out there is caring for someone who lives with dementia. I took mum out of the care system when my experience of it was failing our vulnerable elderly. I would urge anyone thinking of a care home to stay in their own home for as long as possible because the help is there for them to do this. I got it. But you have to speak up and know what help is out there.
It must be hard emotionally and physically for someone to look after someone suffering from Dementia. If you could give them one key bit of advice what would it be?
It is of paramount importance that anyone who cares MUST take care of themselves and have the support.
You want to raise awareness of Dementia, especially in old people’s homes. What inspired you to raise awareness and money for them?
I have a live in carer 24 hours but I still do mums personal care sometimes and oversee her day to day care needs. I have a superb carer who is part of our family and couldn’t cope without her and my day Carers. Anyone caring at home can place their loved one in respite care so you can have a break. It’s so important that Carers have emotional support. It’s the hardest job in the world but most rewarding.
You’re a very successful business woman, how do you balance your work and all your fundraising for the charity?
Being mums care partner gives me time to raise awareness and to complete challenges to raise funds for Dementia Uk. I’m doing another challenge soon and raising funds on Justgiving. I’m passionate about raising awareness. Dementia is still very misunderstood and I strongly believe changes in the system needs change
Obviously, you’re doing everything you can to raise awareness for the charity, do you feel like more could be done in today’s society for charities that are a lot less established than mainstream charities?
I’ve always said that Dementia charities are not as prolific as say Cancer or Children’s charities and whilst ALL of them deserve a big profile so does Dementia. Dementia is not just an old age disease. It’s a cruel condition that robs people of their memories and can bring complicated symptoms.
And, finally, on a lighter note, would you ever consider another talent show?
I’d love to do Strictly!! But that’s it!
It was lovely to speak to Jayne about her life, and her dedication to increasing the awareness of Dementia. Follow Jayne’s journey to significantly increasing awareness and look out for any fundraising events she may be involved with by giving her a follow on Twitter here!