I know that the end of March 2015 marked the end of government funding for Dementia Friends. It’s great news that Alzheimer’s Society has decided to continue the programme, but what does this mean for me as a Champion? Will I have to deliver my Session any differently?
I’d first like to thank you for helping us reach our first big Dementia Friends milestone of creating one million Dementia Friends – this success would simply not have been possible without you!
As you know, Dementia Friends was first funded by the Cabinet Office and Department of Health for England until the end of March 2015. But don’t worry because Dementia Friends won’t stop there! We have already started the next phase of our programme and I wanted to tell you a little more about this.
Our new goal
Now that we’ve hit our first milestone, Alzheimer’s Society has committed to reaching a further 3 million Dementia Friends over the next 5 years – creating a new target of 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020! We would love for you to continue to help us with this by running Information Sessions so that one day, everyone will be a Dementia Friend.
As our government funding finished at the end of March 2015, Dementia Friends is now funded by voluntary donations made to the Alzheimer’s Society.
What this means for you
The changes described above should not mean any major changes to your volunteer role. Please continue running Information Sessions just as you have been and making Dementia Friends, just like before.
However, there are a few things that we would like you to be aware of:
• Information Session content: During the ‘What is Dementia Friends?’ part of the Information Session, you will no longer need to explain that the programme is funded by the Cabinet Office and Department of Health for England.
• Resources: We will be updating all of our resources in due course. Please continue to use the infocards, action mailers, Dementia Friends badges and the resources on the website, just as before. Don’t worry that some of your resources may still refer to government funding.
• Website: We will be updating the website over the coming month, so the front page will look a little different from mid-April.
• Donations: Please continue not accepting any donations in return for running a Dementia Friends Information Session. However, if people would like to donate money to Dementia Friends, please direct them to the Alzheimer’s Society.
It is fantastic to have you on board as we embark on the next exciting phase of the Dementia Friends initiative. Please do let do not hesitate to your DFO if you have any questions or concerns about the changes above or anything else.