Louisa Booth, Celebrity Manager, shares some of what goes on behind the scenes when working with our most high-profile supporters.
When I tell people that I’m a Celebrity Manager at Alzheimer’s Society, I usually get one of two responses.
They either say ‘That sounds glamorous!’ or they tell me how dementia has affected them and why the work we do is so important.
The people who give me the second answer get me checking that they have all the support they need, and whether they need anything else from us.
If I get the first response, I see that as an opportunity to explain the work I do.
We have celebrity supporters and ambassadors – people who take on a specific role to help raise awareness about the Society and everything we do.
Many of our celebrity supporters and ambassadors have been affected by dementia personally in some way, and part of my job is looking after and supporting them through that journey, sometimes in the full glare of the media.
It’s a huge step for anyone to speak publicly, and a brave one, and we’re there for them wherever and however they need us.
We’re very careful about how we approach high-profile supporters. We will only ask celebrities to support us if they’ve personal experience of dementia or are interested in the work we’re doing.
Trust and compassion
When a celebrity goes public and talks about their reason for supporting the Society, we know this has a profound impact.
It helps to shine a light on dementia, as well as to raise funds and support for the Society. They champion our brand and boost vital public awareness of our work, and there is a real value in sharing their stories.
Dementia is indiscriminate and has no regard for fame or success. It usually takes around two years from our initial contact with a celebrity supporter to them lending their face to a campaign or event.
A huge part of what we do is based on trust and compassion.
My team is small, but we work on a huge number of projects. In recent months, we’ve been busy with Dementia Action Week, Trek26, the Forget Me Not Appeal, Memory Walk, Sport United Against Dementia and our partnership with The FA, as well as many one-off requests.
We’re also working hard to increase our range of celebrity supporters.
We liaise with celebrities and their agents and publicists on requests that vary from sharing something on Twitter or Instagram to doing the voiceover for an advert, attending a Memory Walk or taking part in a media interview.
All our celebrity supporters do this for free, and we’re extremely privileged to have some wonderful, passionate and high-profile supporters who give up their time for us and who we can call on if we need to.