Wallsend beauty queen raising awareness of disease close to her heart

A beauty queen is capitalising on her success by raising awareness of a disease close to her heart.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 8:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 10:39 am
Rebecca Gormley and her grandfather Les Crichton.

After a year in the limelight as Miss Newcastle, Rebecca Gormley has become a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society.

The 21-year-old from Wallsend is paying tribute to her beloved grandfather Les Crichton, of North Shields, who is living with dementia.

Rebecca said: “I’m delighted to have become a volunteer as dementia is a condition I have personal experience of.

“My granddad Les began his journey with dementia three-and-a-half years ago and it has been very difficult for the family.

“It’s hard for us to see the way he is now compared to how he used to be. Dementia has taken over him and he’s just not the same person.

“Most of the time when I visit him he doesn’t recognise me and I have to remind him that I’m his granddaughter.

“But it’s even worse for my gran Phyllis, who is also his carer. There are times when he calls her ‘mam’ and she has to explain that she’s his wife.

“It’s so sad to witness because I have such lovely memories of him when I was younger.

“He was always singing and would make silly duck noises just to make me laugh.”

Rebecca will represent Alzheimer’s Society at numerous events.

Dan Nelson, community fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It’s fantastic to have Rebecca on board.

“I’ve no doubt she will be excellent ambassador for the charity.”