Diana Smith Harris – retired social worker and family carer

Diana Smith Harris lives in Leeds and is a retired social worker who worked for Leeds Social Care for over thirty years.

She cared for her husband Eugene, who was diagnosed with young onset dementia in 2016. He sadly passed away in August 2020. He was an upholsterer and was very musical, playing piano and steel pans. Diana was the singer in his band.

At the point of her husband’s diagnosis, Diana became involved with various groups looking for activities and support for them both, which gave her an insight to support groups in Leeds.

Diana continues to be involved with the Young Dementia Hub Leeds as a carer campaigning for young onset dementia to be raised on the agenda across the country. She is also actively involved in chairing a fundraising group, currently applying for charitable status. The long-term aim is to set up respite facility for people living with young onset dementia.

She has involvement with various organisations within Leeds, including Leeds Playhouse, Leeds City Council and nationally with tide and more recently the Young Dementia Network.

Diana is passionate about ensuring that the voice of carers are heard and that young onset diagnosis dementia is given the same priority as all areas of dementia.

In her spare time Diana is learning piano and is also a singer.

Diana shared her story with Dementia UK as part of Black History Month. Read her story here.