Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins has attended a Dementia Friends session in Parliament as part of a new drive to help end the current stigma surrounding the condition.

Launched by Alzheimer’s Society in February 2013, Dementia Friends is an initiative that seeks to assist people in understanding what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015 to help make England more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of the 650,000 people currently living with the condition in the country.

Mr Hopkins was one of 30 MPs and peers who took part in a number of exercises aimed at helping participants understand the affect of dementia on people’s everyday lives.

He said: “I am very happy to show my support for Dementia Friends, and would encourage local residents in Keighley and Ilkley to join me.

“Given the rise in the numbers of people now living with dementia, it is vitally important that we develop a deeper and wider understanding of the condition.

“Dementia Friends is a welcome vehicle that I believe can make a difference to people living with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society deserves great credit for coming up with the idea and, together, I hope we can reach the target of one million Dementia Friends by next year.”