Welsh actor Iwan Rheon has leant his voice to an animated video by Alzheimer’s Research UK explaining the different types of dementia.
He’s probably best known for playing über-villain Ramsay Bolton in the HBO series Game of Thrones, but now Iwan Rheon has shown a slightly softer side by voicing an animation created by Alzheimer’s Research UK designed to provide information and reduce stigma of the different types of dementia.
Iwan’s grandmother, Beryl Thomas, had Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, and died aged 83 in 2008. He recorded the voiceover in memory of her.
Iwan, 31, said:
‘She was a real pillar of the community in Llanrug, North Wales. She was a Sunday school teacher and a dinner lady in a primary school.
‘She was an incredibly strong woman and wouldn’t take any rubbish from anyone, so to see her go from that to like a scared child was really tough.
‘It all happened so quickly, and got to the point where she couldn’t live by herself anymore and unfortunately she had to be sectioned.
‘At times my grandmother would become really confused, thinking I was her husband. At first it was kind of funny – you have to try and laugh through these things – but she eventually deteriorated to the point she didn’t know who we were or where she was, it was pretty hardcore.
‘I’m proud to have played a small part in the project, and hope people will share this animation as far and wide as possible to improve understanding of this devastating condition.’
The video explains what is happening in the brain when someone develops the different types of dementia, going into detail about the symptoms and causes. The film was developed in collaboration with Studio La Plage and blends informative and educational scientific imagery with visual representations of the human side of dementia to explain what the condition is and how it impacts lives.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
‘We are so grateful to Iwan for lending his voice to this animation and for sharing his family’s experiences of a condition that affects so many people across the country. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding dementia and Iwan’s support is helping us tackle this head on.
‘We know that dementia is not a normal or inevitable part of ageing but the result of physical diseases that affect the brain. With sustained and strategic investment in research, scientists will continue to make progress in beating these diseases just as they have done with other health conditions in recent history.’
Watch the video below: