Dementia activist Agnes Houston MBE awarded Churchill Medallion

Dementia activist Agnes Houston MBE, was presented with a Churchill Medallion at a prestigious award ceremony in London earlier this month. The medallion was awarded to Agnes to mark the successful completion of her overseas research as a Churchill Fellow.

For her Fellowship, Agnes travelled to Canada and Ireland to investigate best practice relating to dementia and sensory challenges. Following the successful publication of her booklet and CD ‘Dementia and Sensory Challenges’, she is now writing a guidebook on dementia and sensory challenges for people living with dementia, their families and professionals.


Agnes web

Speaking about her Fellowship, Agnes said, “I am absolutely delighted to be receiving my Churchill Medallion. Using the experience of my Fellowship, my guidebook sets out what we can do about these challenges and where we can go for help. I feel that when I was given a diagnosis of dementia, I had a choice: either sink into the corner and be ‘done to’ or take control of my life. I feel that I am leaving a legacy for others, so they can stand up and be a citizen and not a victim.”

Professor Colm Cunningham, Director of the Dementia Centre said: “It has been a privilege to get to know and work alongside Agnes and we very much appreciate her input as Knowledge Exchange Associate with the Dementia Centre.”

The Fellowships were set up in memory of Sir Winston Churchill on his death in 1965, and over 5,400 Fellowships have been awarded since then.

Agnes Houston was diagnosed with younger onset dementia in 2006 at the age of 57. She is an active member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group. In 2012, she was elected vice chair of the European Working Group Person with Dementia. She has campaigned for best practice and improving lives of people with dementia especially sensory issues and dementia in Scotland and received a lifetime achievement award by Alzheimer Scotland in 2013. In 2015, she was awarded an MBE and a Churchill Fellow in 2016. In 2018, she published My home, my life: Practical ideas for people with dementia and carers.

Watch her video on dementia and sensory challenges: