VMTV presenter Martin King and family will open up about their personal experience with dementia during Donate For Dementia.

Jack Charlton documentary centrepiece of Donate For Dementia on VMTV

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland teaming up with Virgin Media Television for a special Donate For Dementia week.

Running from March 22 to 28 on Virgin Media Television, Donate For Dementia will include special programming across VMTV shows to help raise awareness and funds to support people with all forms of dementia, which affects half a million Irish families.

Martin King will open up about his own experience with dementia in a special documentary. Martin lost his mother, Christina, to dementia in 2019, four weeks after his father died.

The week will conclude with the highly anticipated broadcast of Finding Jack Charlton. Filmed during the last 18 months of Jack’s life, it captures his undocumented battle with dementia as well as looking back at this Irish sporting legend.

Finding Jack Charlton will be broadcast Virgin Media One at 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 28. Commissioned by VMTV and the BBC and supported The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, this emotive and compelling documentary looks at this Irish sporting legend and his undocumented life with dementia.

It features contributions from Jack’s family for the first time, including his wife Pat and son John. They are supported by major figures in football, music, film and politics.

The documentary also features unseen archive footage, going behind the scenes with Jack and the Ireland team during the World Cup in 1990 and on the road to their qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

From Monday, March 22, VMTV studio shows from Ireland AM to The Tonight Show will include special programming around dementia, including stories from those directly affected. With one in 10 of those diagnosed under the age of 65, we will meet people of all ages impacted by Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia, and find out how they have been coping with lockdown measures.

Six O’Clock Show presenter Martin King will open up about his own personal experience with dementia in a special documentary, We Need To Talk About Dementia, that will air on Sunday, March 28, at 8 p.m.

Martin lost his mother, Christina, to dementia in 2019. His dad (Martin Senior), who was in the same nursing home, and room, as his mother, died just four weeks before her. When he died suddenly, the family made the decision not to tell their mother as they felt the news would make her regress. Sadly, she passed away a few weeks later. Martin talks to members of his own family and other people in the community about lifting the stigma associated with dementia.

Bill Malone, director of content, Virgin Media Television, said: “Virgin Media Television are delighted to be part of such an initiative to raise awareness of dementia and to raise much-needed funds for The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

“Throughout the week, our key programmes will shine a light on the experiences of those who have been affected by dementia and the great work of the society.

“The culmination of our fundraising week will be Sunday, March 28, with a number of specially commissioned programmes, including tributes to Jack Charlton by those who knew him and the TV premiere of the wonderful film Finding Jack Charlton.”

Pat McLoughlin, CEO of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, added: “I am delighted that The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is teaming up with Virgin Media Television for a special week of activity to mark the TV launch of the powerful Finding Jack Charlton documentary. Jack lived with dementia in the final years of his life and this excellent documentary focuses on his love for his family and those extraordinary years when he brought Ireland to Euro 88 and two World Cups, boosting our national pride beyond comparison.

“There are 64,000 people living with dementia in Ireland and each year there are 11,000 new cases – that means today, tomorrow and the next day, 30 people per day will be diagnosed.

“This one-week partnership will raise so much awareness and much-needed funds to support those living with dementia and their carers. We are just so grateful to Virgin Media and the makers of the Jack Charlton documentary, Noah Media Group, for helping to put this spotlight on people with dementia and their family carers during this week. We are all really looking forward to it now.”

Donate For Dementia runs from Monday, March 22, to Sunday, March 28, and will include special programming across VMTV shows.

We Need To Talk About Dementia and Finding Jack Charlton both air on Sunday, March 28, the former at 8 p.m. and the latter afterwards at 9 p.m.

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