Grammy-nominated Producer Naughty Boy swaps song writing with raising awareness of dementia in homage to his mother

The Grammy nominated DJ and musician, Naughty Boy, takes part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk, after his mother was diagnosed with dementia.

Shahid Khan, better known as award-winning DJ and producer Naughty Boy, took part in a Memory Walk this afternoon with his family (21 August 2020), joining thousands of people across the UK who are completing their own walk this summer, to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society. 

Naughty Boy’s personal connection to dementia comes after his mother, Zahida was diagnosed with vascular dementia last year after having a stroke. Khan had been living with his mother during lockdown to be her carer and is one of thousands of family carers who have seen their loved ones struggle due to a lack of social contact, routine and interruptions to essential care and support. 

He joins a host of famous faces (Adam Gemili, Jo Joyner, Paul Whitehouse,) who are putting their best foot forwards to help the leading dementia charity provide vital support, through services such as Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line.

Naughty Boy said:

'Dementia is something that is very personal to me and so I want to do everything I can to help raise awareness of this heart-breaking condition.

'I’m so proud to be supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk - I’m doing this for my mum and for the 850,000 other people affected by dementia.'

'Since mum’s diagnosis, it’s been a huge learning curve for me to be able to understand her condition and how it affects her.

'When I moved back in with mum during lockdown, I would get so excited over little things she can still remember – those glimmers of my mum’s old self mean the world.'

People with dementia have been worst hit in terms of deaths and there has been a huge spike of ‘unexplained’ non-virus-related deaths since March. A recent Alzheimer’s Society survey of over 1,8001 people affected by dementia reported that nearly half (45%) said that lockdown has had a ‘negative impact’ on their mental health and four in five (82%) reported a deterioration in people with dementia’s symptoms. 

Alzheimer’s Society’s services are now in demand more than ever, but the charity is facing a blow to income of up to £45 million. The charity’s support services have been a lifeline - used over 1.7 million times since the beginning of lockdown, showing people need us now more than ever. 

Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said: 

'The stark reality is that people with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus, accounting for over a quarter of deaths from the virus between March and June alone. We’re also hearing harrowing accounts of the devastating long-term effects of lockdown on people with dementia and families and carers are in desperate need of support during this very uncertain time. 

'Alzheimer’s Society is here for everyone affected by this terrible condition and without the generosity of our wonderful supporters donating what they can to our Coronavirus Appeal and completing their own Memory Walk, we simply could not keep our vital services running.'

'As one of my all time favourite artists, I am so excited that Naughty Boy has agreed to help us raise awareness and take part in a Memory Walk of his own, his track ‘Runnin’ will be a staple on my own memory walk!' 

It’s never been more important for people to get people involved with Memory Walk, sponsored by Santander. Instead of large, organised Memory Walks taking place across the UK, participants are being asked to complete their own Memory Walk at a location of their choice throughout August and September.

To sign up and find out more information, visit memorywalk.org.uk