A WOMAN living with dementia in Herefordshire has taken part in a TV show and proved she's not going to let her diagnosis define her.

Sue Strachan, 63, was one of 14 volunteers to take part in the Channel 4 programme The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes. The series uses a busy, stressful restaurant, to show that with support and reasonable adjustments people living with dementia might be able to keep working for longer.

Ms Strachan from Staunton-on-Wye said she took part in the show to prove, with small adjustments, people with the disease can carry on working.

"I wanted to raised awareness that people who live with dementia can still work.

"Through it I've met friends for life, we've shared experiences and I'd urge anyone who's watching to laugh with us, don't feel as if you're laughing at us.

"I struggled with fatigue, that's one of the symptoms, I need a two hour sleep in the afternoon to be okay for the rest of the day. But the production company were so supportive.

"It was groundbreaking, I hate saying it, but it was. I said at the end, if we can do this, what else can we do?"

Ten of the 14 volunteers told the show they felt depressed and useless when they had to pack in work after diagnosis and the restaurant gave them back a sense of purpose.

Ms Strachan, along with the other volunteers, worked in the restaurant in Bristol for five weeks which had reasonable adjustments, including simple things like labelling glasses for different types of drinks, labelling cutlery draws and using pictures on lockers.

Executive Producer Trish Powell said: "We were introduced to Sue via a young dementia group as Sue had ran the London Marathon to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK.

"Sue made an amazing contribution to the filming because of her determined spirit and sense of fun. She is not going to let dementia beat her or define her.

"The idea behind the experiment and what encouraged the volunteers to take part is that many of them felt they could have kept working for longer if reasonable adjustments had been made in the workplace.

"The series has a serious message, but huge amounts of fun and laughter and one of the surprises was the way 14 strangers bonded and became friends and continue to be friends."

The next episode will be on Channel 4 at 9pm this evening (June 26), but previous episodes can be watched on demand.