GMW Service User Awarded MBE | News and Events

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GMW Service User Awarded MBE

Ann Johnson MBE

A GMW service user and ambassador of the Alzhiemer’s Society has been honoured with an MBE for her services to healthcare.

Dr Ann Johnson – who was diagnosed with early onset dementia seven years ago - was awarded the MBE by HRH Prince Charles during a ceremony that included athlete Mo Farah and actor Ewan McGregor.

Ann picked up the prestigious honour from Buckingham Palace earlier this month, and one of her guests was Bernie Hayhurst – a nurse at Trafford Memory Clinic and a great support to Ann since she was diagnosed with the disease.

“I’m just so humbled to have been given this award”, Ann said about receiving the honour.

When Ann set off to London to collect the award, the nursing staff at the senior living centre where she lives even gave her a guard of honour.

Ann was just 52 years old when diagnosed, and the former nurse and lecturer at the University of Manchester moved into a senior living home in Greater Manchester.

Rather than see the diagnosis of dementia in a negative light, Ann has used it to passionately tell people what it is like to live with dementia. Since her diagnosis she has travelled around the country giving talks and speeches to health professionals as well as dementia patients. She helped to launch the Department of Health's Dementia Awareness Campaign, appeared on numerous TV and radio shows and has spoken at conferences in London and Dublin, meeting the Prime Minister and many celebrities along the way.

Even before the MBE, Ann’s campaigning and commitment was recognised last year when she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for her campaigning about dementia and helping those who suffer from the disease.

Ann believes that the great support she has is key to the work she takes on to raise the awareness of Alzhiemer’s disease: “Everything I do I do it to the best of my ability, but I need my friends, faith and talks to keep me going. Take one away and I would be sunk”.

Ann plans to continue to raise awareness of the disease through speaking about the challenges of living with the disease, and will also be one of our VIP guest speakers at the GMW Annual Members Meeting in October.

Everyone at GMW would like to congratulate Ann on her excellent work to raise awareness of dementia and on receiving such an honour.

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