We caught up with our team of Dementia Friends Officers to find out a bit more about them…
Aimee Packwood - I cover the East of England.
My favourite Session was last year during Dementia Awareness week- I ran an open Session in Swindon high street which was broadcast on the big screen and out of loudspeakers. It was terrifying but was really interesting to see people’s ears pricking up as they walked past- even if they didn’t stay for the full Session they got some useful nuggets of information!
Favourite hobby: I’m a big bibliophile (I love reading!)- I’ll read anything but I especially love the Harry Potter books and Jane Austen.
Camilla Alfred - I cover South West England.
Camilla wasn’t here at the time of writing to tell us her favourite Session but she has been with the team three and a half years and has made an amazing 1073 Friends over 123 Sessions- well done Camilla!
Charlotte Adams - I cover the North West.
My favourite Session was during Dementia Awareness Week last year- I wanted to take the opportunity to deliver the Information Session to a new audience. For the Session, I worked with an interpreter for the first time and delivered the BAME resources. I had a mixed group with some attendees speaking English as a first language while others required an interpreter to translate the information into Polish. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness and people joined in throughout the Session. I made sure I gave time for the interpreter to pass on the information and feedback the responses to keep the Session interactive. At the end, the group got a picture holding the I’m a Dementia Friend placards which I shared on social media to raise awareness further. It was fantastic to deliver a Session to a new audience.
Favourite food: Roast dinner with lots of gravy!
My favourite Session was for the Royal College of Nursing on a dementia training day as I was worried people would be bored and know it all already, but the feedback was amazing and had attendees commenting that it had made them see dementia in a different way.
Favourite film: I’m a shameless Disney fan – Aladdin, Little Mermaid, but Beauty and the Beast is the best.
My favourite Session was at Al-Sadiq boys school and Al-zahra girls. I ran two Sessions in one day, for 18 year 7’s. The group were very enthusiastic, but it took a while for me to get used to hands going up first rather than just calling their answers out.
About me: I enjoy wild swimming!
My favourite Session was in my Grandma’s church- she was a member for over 50 years!
Favourite hobby: My favourite hobby is rock climbing.
My favourite Session was to Chelsea Football Club. I delivered a Session for some of the stewarding and stadium management team. It was very popular and everyone wanted to learn more about dementia to support their supporters and staff affected. It was inspiring to see the commitment from the sports and leisure sector of the community to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. Many of them opted for actions such as ‘offer support to customers perhaps by showing them to their seat if they are struggling’ and ‘take my time to be supportive and polite to supporters if they need a little extra help’.
About me: in my spare time I play for Alzheimer’s Society netball team!
Ian Hind – I cover the East Midlands region.
My favourite Session: – I held an open session during Dementia Awareness Week for other organisations in our building, and got a really good turn out and not only did I make some Dementia Friends in the building but also found out a bit more about our neighbours!
About me: I have done a few things to raise money for charities in the past – my yukkiest experience was sitting in a bath of baked beans and ice-cubes in the middle of a packed pub!
Joe Kirwin - I cover the North East and Cumbria.
My favourite Session was with the The Weardale Labour Party – A really engaged group with loads of questions and comments, they also had a very interesting conversation about how Governments & Councils of any colour need to take Dementia and social care much more seriously.
About me: When I was 13 I started training to become a Professional Wrestler. My plan to be the next Giant Haystacks or Hulk Hogan didn’t really work out!
Keeley Waldron - I cover the West Midlands.
My favourite Session was to a group of 25 beavers aged 6-8. It was a high energy Session that definitely kept me on my toes! The children’s resources worked really well though, they kept the group engaged and their actions were really inspirational. One of the boys said he learnt that it didn’t matter that his grandad couldn’t always remember his name as long as they had happy times together.
Favourite food: Has to be Chinese but I can’t name one single item of food that I dislike!
Tess Dawson - I cover Pennines Lancashire.
My favourite Session was the one I delivered to 45 16-18 year olds. I was nervous to begin but with a lot of enthusiasm, engagement and aided by chocolate ‘prizes’ the Session went really well and ended with many of them being interested in where they can find out more information from the website for their Health and Social Care course.
Favourite music: My favourite band is The Beatles-my mum is from Liverpool so I was brought up with The Beatles songs as a backdrop to my childhood.
Trudi Jackson – I cover Yorkshire and Humber.
My favourite Session was the one I ran for my family. They loved the bookcase analogy and the discussion around the black mat in front of a shop door. They commented that the simplicity and everyday examples made it clear and relatable.
About me: I used to be a model in photo stories in magazines.