There are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK with this number expected to increase soon. Dementia affects an individual’s ability to remember, think and speak. This means they are extremely vulnerable and at an increased risk of going missing.
Together with Lowland Rescue and thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we were awarded an incredible £1 million by Dream Fund to bring light to this issue. In 2018, we launched the ground-breaking project Search Dog Heroes.
The project trains search dogs to help in the recovery of missing people with dementia, learning disabilities, and other mental health issues that could cause them to go missing. It also delivers educational tools to advise on how to prevent disappearances and how to prepare for them. This includes how to capture a person’s scent and safely store it in case the worse happens, through a designed scent toolkit.
The project came to a close with the launch of a “scent” by Real Housewives of Cheshire star, Tanya Bardsley. In a surprise announcement, Tanya aptly named her scent, “Chien”. For those who know some French, you will know that this translates to dog!
Tanya revealed her new scent to her followers on social media. Some caught on and others simply expressed their excitement to smell the new perfume. The following day, Tanya revealed that she had been working with the charity to bring attention to the very worthy cause. She also encouraged families with vulnerable loved ones to create their own scent jar at home.
We are delighted to say that the campaign generated a lot of awareness for the project. It was featured in national news outlets from The Sun and The Mirror to Sky News. Watch the interview below with Tanya and Jo, one of the amazing dog handlers from Lowland Rescue, to hear them discuss this important project. Roo the dog even made a special appearance!
If you would like to prepare a scent jar at home, click the button below for a step by step guide.Learn more