A member of Northamptonshire Police has a date with royalty on Thursday (May 23), after being nominated and reaching the finals for a national charity award.
Force Control Room Operative Steph de Vally has been shortlisted for the honour in recognition of her voluntary work with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends programme.
Steph has worked tirelessly over the last few years to raise awareness of dementia sharing her story with her police colleagues as well as families who are affected by the condition.
Now her achievement has been recognised at a national level and she has been shortlisted for the prestigious Alzheimer’s Society People’s Award in the We Are United category.
Steph has been invited to attend the awards ceremony which is being held at St James Palace in London, where she, along with the other nominees, will have the opportunity to share her story.
The annual awards, which celebrate the achievements of staff and volunteers who help to improve the lives of people affected by dementia, will be presented by the patron of the Alzheimer’s Society Princess Alexandra of Kent.
Steph, who lives in Northampton, said: “My Dad passed away just over a year ago and it has been a very emotional time for me and my family. So I was absolutely blown away to be nominated for this award.
“There are so many people who are passionate about changing things for people with dementia, I feel so honoured to be put forward for an award by one of my peers.
“My Dad had vascular dementia and I found when we received his diagnosis that was it. We received no information about the different stages of the conditions he would go through or where we could get support.
“He was my passion and the reason why I wanted to spread awareness so other people and families can also live well with Dementia, which led me to volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society and also becoming a Dementia Friends Champion.
“Working in the Force Control Room I see the distress this condition can have, not only on those who have dementia but their families. Through sharing my personal knowledge and experience I am in a position to help.
“So as a volunteer I organise public information events, share my story through public speaking as well as hold dementia awareness sessions for my colleagues in the police.”
Following the awards ceremony, the nominees and their special guests will enjoy Afternoon Tea at the palace to celebrate not only their success but the Alzheimer’s Society 40th anniversary.
If you would like to know more about dementia and the support which is available for those who are affected by the condition, Steph has helped to organise an information event as part of Dementia Action Week (May 20-26).
The Dementia…Let’s Talk About It event takes place on Wednesday (May 22) in the former Body Shop store in the Newlands Shopping Centre, Kettering between 10am and 4pm.