WEDNESDAY 20 DEC 2017 3:24 PM


Around the UK, Europe and in many parts of the world, preparations for Christmas are underway. Decorations are hung, gingerbread houses constructed and presents wrapped, ready to be stored under the tree until 25 December. For some families, however, Christmas is a profoundly difficult time due to the complications progressive degenerative disease can create.

Of the many long-term conditions which affect emotional wellbeing, dementia and Alzheimer’s are among the worst. Difficult to face the whole year round, the festive period has the potential to trigger feelings, emotions and memories attached to a perhaps happier time – for those suffering with the conditions, Christmas can be a confusing time. However, a partnership between leading UK charities Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Scotland, and bank HSBC UK, offers hope to families affected by memory loss conditions.

To mark its second of three years as an official strategic partner, which includes a commitment by HSBC to raise £3m for Alzheimer’s Society, the bank has launched a social and retail campaign to emphasise the value of memories and how support is vital – particularly at Christmas. Named #GiveAMemory, the campaign centres on three films which highlight the steps HSBC is taking to make living with, or caring for, dementia easier. These include supporting funding for the Alzheimer’s Society helpline which offers information, support and advice on dementia, and launching the HSBC ‘Managing money with dementia’ guide for those taking control of a relative or friend’s finances.

In collaboration with global social media agency We Are Social, HSBC’s #GiveAMemory taps into the emotions connected with fond memories. Asking real family members, carers and friends who live with someone with Alzheimer's, “This Christmas, if you could give a single memory to a loved one to hold onto forever, what would it be?”, the films aim to prompt viewers to share their own Christmas memory. Donations to Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland are also encouraged, who work all year round to support sufferers and their family.

“Christmas is a time of year when many long-lasting memories are made and so it can be an emotional time for those affected by dementia,” says Jag Sharma, social media marketing manager at HSBC UK. “We wanted to raise awareness of the services HSBC UK provides to support those affected by dementia, while encouraging people to better understand the disease. #GiveAMemory will help put the importance of memories front of mind this Christmas.”

The social collaboration, while shared on HSBC UK’s Facebook and Twitter channels, will also be part of a retail activation campaign led by shopper marketing agency Geometry. Funding as a result of campaigns like #GiveAMemory have so far enabled Alzheimer’s UK to train over 13,000 staff as Dementia Friends and launch ‘Shared statements’ which helps those living with dementia keep track of their money.

Cairen Harry, senior account director at We Are Social says, “We’re proud to have been able to work with HSBC UK on a campaign which promotes such an important issue within society. We hope the films create an authentic, emotional link with HSBC UK’s audiences.”