Glendowie College students raise awareness of Dementia

The RAD Team at Glendowie College, Auckland (from left) Tomas Vazquez Toniollo, Samuel Wright, Samuel Crump, Anthony Shen, Allwin Christopher (Photo Supplied)

RAD, an entrepreneurial venture for a social cause

Editor’s Standfirst: From time to time, we hear of people affected by Dementia and how this disease affects them, their families, friends and even business associates and colleagues. According to Dementia New Zealand, Dementia is the third largest cause of death in New Zealand and more than 50 million people are affected globally. Ten million new cases are reported every year- that is one person every three seconds.

When the students of Glendowie College in Auckland contacted Indian Newslink, saying that they have a startup called RAD (Raising Awareness of Dementia) championing the cause in Auckland and sought our support, we were extremely pleased with the initiative of the young men involved and the encouragement given by their teachers and staff at the institution. We offered to become their media partners and this article is the first in a series of many action-oriented activities of the Group. RAD will be officially launched by Simon O’Connor, Member of Parliament (National) elected from the Tamaki Constituency (where the College is located) at the Ninth Annual Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards on June 19, 2023 at Swaminarayan Complex, 1/7 Wilmay Avenue, Papatoetoe, Auckland. We hope that you will be motivated to support this Project.

Allwin Christopher

As the Chief Executive Officer of RAD, Allwin Christopher loves to see empathy and compassion become reality to leave an indelible mark in the lives of people, especially his generation. Having personally experienced the impact of dementia in his close-knit family circle, Allwin is determined to continue to raise awareness about dementia among the youth of Aotearoa and beyond. “We would like to partner with youth organisations that can help us promote our vision and mission to create a bigger impact. Together we can create a more dementia-aware world,” he said.

Anthony Shen 

Anthony Shen’s innovative thinking and excellent communication skills have been an asset as he worked tirelessly with an external professional website developer from India. The opportunity to build cultural competencies with a deeper understanding of Indian culture and business protocols has been an exciting aspect of this journey. As the operations continue with the website development being finalised and the learning experiences of developing games and the app progresses, we would love to collaborate with you if you have any experiences in game or app development and/or design.

Tomas Vazquez Toniollo

Marketing & Sales Director’s Update

As a passionate Marketing and Sales Director, Tomas Vazquez Toniollo is continuously finding innovative ways of engaging with our wider audience. The exciting challenge has been shifting the mindsets of youth that dementia is not just an “old people issue.”  This challenge has highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the different types of dementia, ways individuals can take control of their lifestyles to minimise the impact of dementia and encourage our communities to become more dementia friendly.

“We invite influential individuals and organisations to join our journey in raising awareness for dementia. You can follow us on Instagram @rad.thinkhealthier, share our posts, stories and articles or simply get in touch with us on other promotional opportunities,” he said.

Samuel Crump

Having witnessed the profound impact this condition has on individuals and families, including his own, Communications Director Samuel Crump is committed to spreading awareness and support for families suffering from the impact of dementia.

“We feel honoured for the collaboration and support established with a number of industry experts including Alzheimer’s New Zealand and Dementia Auckland. We are now seeking more Health experts, Dementia research experts and Mental health experts whom we can interview with a particular focus on raising awareness of the 12 modifiable factors of dementia. Any families interested in sharing their experiences and challenges of dementia are welcome to get in touch with us.

Samuel Wright

Financial Director Samuel Wright offers his exceptional technological experiences as well as financial expertise to direct RAD’s financial decisions. The Project requires funding for hardware and outsourcing of the website and App. Samuel and his team are exploring different sources of revenue including opportunities for businesses to place advertisements on the RAD website.

“If your business is interested in placing ads on our website or sponsoring us, we would love to hear from you,” he said.

About RAD: A Young Enterprise Scheme

RAD is a proud participant of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), which provides opportunities to gain experiential learning for students where they can be innovative and gain transferable skills such as resilience and risk-taking. As an extra-curricular YES group, RAD Directors are grateful for the YES resources and guidance provided to enhance our entrepreneurial knowledge.

For more information on YES, please visit their website.

 

YES Extreme Experiences

Samuel Crump has been invited to be a part of the Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA) event organised by the YES. This is an opportunity for 60 of YES’ most engaged students to come together and compete in two back-to-back challenges over 48 hours.

RAD congratulates Samuel for his success as he packs his bags to leave for Wellington at the end of June, keep an eye on RAD’s Instagram page for more on Samuel’s EIA updates.

The Business Pitch

“After a number of intensive collaboration sessions during the weeks leading up to the YES Business Pitch, RAD pitched their business idea to a group of YES judges on the 18th of May at Pakuranga Rugby Club. Not only are we appreciative of the feedback received from the judges on improving RAD but we were thrilled for the connections built for potential future collaborations,” Allwin said.

YES Market Day

RAD has secured a stall at the YES AUT City Market, which will be held on Thursday, 24 August 2023 from 11 am to 2 pm at the AUT City Centre, WG Building (outside Newsfeed Cafe), 86 Governor Fitzroy Place, Auckland. There will be opportunities to get involved with RAD’s mission to raise awareness for dementia.

Indian Newslink

Allwin Christopher writes further:

RAD is thrilled to be partnering with Indian Newslink for our future operations. From personal experiences within RAD and further research conducted, we were stunned at the alarming rate of people predicted to be diagnosed with Dementia in the Indian population residing in Aotearoa by 2040. We believe that with the incredible opportunity to partner with Indian Newslink, we can reach out to the listeners especially from the Indian communities more effectively.

We are delighted to announce that on the 19th of June, we will be speaking at the Ninth Annual Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards (to be held at Swaminarayan Complex, 1/7 Wilmay Avenue, Papatoetoe, Auckland) to promote our mission. Come along for a night of celebration and fun! Tickets may be purchased from Indian Newslink.

With advancements in technology in this fast-paced world, we are appreciative of the support of the Indian Newslink who have offered us the opportunity to utilise their digital platform to spread our reach. Make sure you keep up with updates on our Instagram and LinkedIn.

Alzheimer’s NZ and Dementia NZ

RAD has been privileged to be able to collaborate with Alzheimer’s New Zealand  and Dementia Auckland to access authentic and up-to-date information and useful resources. For further information please visit https://alzheimers.org.nz/ for Alzheimer’s New Zealand and https://da.org.nz/ for Dementia Auckland.

We will be launching our website with the Catherine Hall series where we get to know more about Catherine Hall, CEO of Alzheimer’s New Zealand, the messages on Dementia and top tips for listeners. Stay tuned for more updates on our website launch.

Dementia Friends

RAD has considered the importance of becoming ‘Dementia Friends,’ a  short programme run by Alzheimer’s New Zealand that can be completed in 30 minutes. Every member of RAD has completed the programme and has gained a certificate and badge. This programme has given the RAD members the needed confidence through factual information about Dementia and guidance on how to show genuine care to the vulnerable people of the community.

We encourage you to become a dementia friend as we believe your 30 minutes investment to become more aware can go a long way. You can access the program through the Alzheimer’s New Zealand website or simply click on this link https://demfriendsnz.firebaseapp.com/#/home.

Remember to take a photo of your certificate, badge or wristband and either send it to us via email info@radthinkhealthier.com or tag us on Instagram @rad.thinkhealther so we can feature your support on our social media.

Acknowledgements

As upcoming young entrepreneurs, we are humbled by overwhelming support from individuals and organisations not only in Aotearoa but also internationally. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the following industry experts who have supported RAD’s mission to raise awareness for dementia and have given up their time to share their skills, knowledge and experiences:

Catherine Hall, CEO of Alzheimer’s New Zealand; Dr Shahdia Parveen (Bradford University, United Kingdom), Professor Lars Ittner (Macquarie University, Australia), Dr Samson Nivins (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) Dr Rachel Emmanuel, Nutritionist (New Zealand) and Dr Rachel Chelladurai, Neurosurgeon (India).

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