Former Bond girl Britt Ekland stopped unsuspecting shoppers in their tracks as she popped into an east Belfast supermarket yesterday.
But the Swedish actress wasn’t in the Tesco Knocknagoney store to do her weekly shop — instead she was lending her face to the Alzheimer’s Society’s new roadshow to make people aware of the disease.
After watching her mother suffer a long battle with the condition, Britt has been a strong supporter of Alzheimer’s charities. She has been patron of the Alzheimer’s Society for 15 years.
Speaking yesterday at the launch of the Dementia Community Roadshow, Britt said it was a “revolutionary” way of bringing awareness and advice to the public.
The Alzheimer’s Society has partnered with supermarket giant Tesco to carry out the roadshows in a bid to reach 100,000 people over three years. The roadshow will visit Tesco car parks across the UK, spending two days in every store it visits, with the aim of providing information and advice to people concerned about their memory or someone close to them.
It’s something Britt feels very passionate about.
“I do it for my mum because I couldn’t do anything for her when she was diagnosed,” she said. “This is in Sweden in the early Eighties and we were just told: ‘She has Alzheimer’s, there nothing we can do, goodbye’, and that’s it — we were not given any support of any kind. So that’s why I do what I do, because there is support and today there are certain meds that can be used and that are very effective.”
“This partnership is incredible because it means people go to buy food and they can go in there (the information van). It’s like a miracle van going round and I think it’s going to make a huge difference.”
Today — Knocknagoney Road, Belfast
June 16-17 — Abbey Retail Park, Newtownabbey
June 20-21 — Bloomfield, Bangor
June 23-24 — Bentrim Road, Lisburn
June 27-28 — Castlewellan Road, Banbridge
June 30-July 1 — Marlborough Retail Park, Craigavon
July 4-5 — Beechvalley, Dungannon
July 6-7 — Orritor Road, Cookstown
July 8-9 — Lisnagelvin, Derry
July 14-15 — Main Street, Limavady
July 18-19 — Bannfield Road, Coleraine
July 21-22 — Larne Link Road, Ballymena