A Manchester children’s author who has written a book to help youngsters understand dementia is helping to promote Join Dementia Research.

Tahira Junaid, of Old Trafford, wrote “I Forgot” in a bid to educate children about the condition and how it affects adults.

For the past 10 years, Tahira has worked in Trafford libraries, where she also carries out the Storytime and Rhymetime sessions for children who attend with their parents.

Tahira Junaid, author of ‘I Forgot’

Having seen first-hand how rhyming stories hold children’s attention and capture their imagination, she was compelled to write an illustrated book dealing with dementia after witnessing the impact of the condition on two of her relatives.

Tahira spoke about her book during a public event in Sale which was hosted by NIHR CRN Greater Manchester in order to raise awareness of dementia and offer free memory tests.

She said: “Dementia is affecting more and more people nowadays and I believe it is necessary for children to be aware of the condition, as it can affect their loved ones, whether relatives or friends. Ignorance can breed prejudice and misunderstanding.

“My illustrated book aims to engage children and families and help them understand the difficulties and challenges faced by people with dementia.

“They can use the book as an indirect platform for discussing the issue and it can also be used in schools to promote awareness of dementia as a form of discussion.”

Through her work in Altrincham Library, Tahira is also promoting the Join Dementia Research service.

When speaking with people about her book and its message, Tahira will also signpost people to Join Dementia Research and hand out leaflets.

Her story’s fictional character invites children to learn about dementia from her perspective in a light-hearted way, helping them to understand the challenges it presents with day-to-day communication, memory and behaviour. It has underlying humour and “just touches the surface” of dementia.

Tahira has received excellent feedback, both in person and online, and has received support from the NHS, blueSCI Trafford and Trafford Carers.

The book is also the centrepiece of the front window display at Altrincham not-for-profit book shop, “Art With a Heart”, which is promoting dementia awareness.

She said: “It is amazing for me to receive such positive comments, as I feel if it has helped even only one person, then it has been worth the uphill struggle in my journey to self-publish.”

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week and Dementia Awareness Week, Tahira donated £3 from each book sale during May 2017 to dementia charities.

Her book is available to buy online and from Altrincham Library, on Stamford New Road, where Join Dementia Research materials and registration forms are also available.