Staff at housing and care organisation The Guinness Partnership have been working hard to raise awareness of dementia across the organisation and encourage staff to take action to help people affected by dementia. We spoke to Wendy Wells to find out what impact Dementia Friends has had.
As part of Exeter City Football Club’s commitment to the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) the One Game One Community match event was held at St James Park. The event enabled over 40 people living with dementia and their families to enjoy complimentary tickets to the Exeter v Luton Town game.
Gina Awad who leads EDAA delivered two Dementia Friends sessions to staff at the Club, one in the Soring and the second as part of #TeamDementiaFriends campaign. The Club were inspired to go the extra mile recognising the need for further dementia awareness in the community.
A summary of the event included; all the players sporting t-shirts for their warm up illustrating “working towards a dementia friendly city’, EDAA had a stand in Red Square raising awareness, use of the community Hospitality box for specially invited guests, a feature in the programme and a bucket collection.
One attendee bought her 90 year old father to the match and encapsulated her feelings, she said
“It was such a lovely day yesterday. My father cannot remember how long it is since he last saw a football match, but he thinks it is at least 60 years. It is the only time my father and my son have had ‘man time’ together as well. For me, the day is a memory that I will always want to retain, along with the photos and the Exeter City FC hat I bought my father. He simply loved it every moment of the day, the hot dog, the hot chocolate, the game and spending time with family. My son, the football fan, is now trying to get the rest of the family along to a game to enjoy the atmosphere, so maybe Exeter City FC will have some new fans as well. Thank you for making a magical day for us all”.
Gina said “we have received some truly heartfelt responses as a result of the event and this illustrates how meaningful our work really is for people living with dementia in the community and their families. What was wonderful to see was the uptake from local care homes and their residents a focus that felt important to pursue”.
All that was needed for a perfect end to the day was a goal from Exeter City but it wasn’t meant to be!
Dementia Awareness Week 2016 is done and what a week it was! Dementia Friends Champions across the country were running thousands of Information Sessions, organisations were encouraging their staff to get involved and thousands of people across different communities were becoming Dementia Friends and turning their understanding into action.
Here are a few highlights from the week:
A guest blog from Philippa Tree – Senior International Officer
On the 21-24 April 2016, Alzheimer’s Disease International (an international federation of Alzheimer associations) held a conference in Budapest which brought together Alzheimer Associations, people living with dementia, researchers and many more people from across the world.
I was fortunate to attend this conference and to begin sharing Dementia Friends learning and best practices with countries worldwide. Continue reading
Two Dementia Friends have found a unique way to support the initiative. Read on to find out how Ben and Mike are supporting Dementia Friends through a half Ironman!
Dementia Friends Nigeria recently launched with the help and support of Alzheimer’s Society in the UK. Here Kiki, founder of Dementia Friends Nigeria and Rossetti Care Ltd, tells us more about the impact the programme is having in Nigeria and how Alzheimer’s Society is helping countries around the world to launch Dementia Friends.
She knelt down, sobbing uncontrollably and muttering, “Please, God forgive me! Baba, please forgive me, please help me, I did not know, I did not understand…..”!
That was a month ago, and this is her story:
Dementia Friends Champion Gina Awad tells us about the incredible amount of work she has been doing in the past year to make her area more dementia-friendly.
This time last year I was a Dementia Friends Champion, I still am, although things have progressed beyond belief. I had a vision in November 2014 to create a local Dementia Action Alliance, that vision is now a reality. Over 30 local organisations have committed to an action plan to implement change, support, and generally raise awareness working towards a Dementia Friendly Exeter.
People ask me “how have you achieved what you have?” My response is passion, determination, drive, oh and a dash of persistence, well a little more than a dash maybe!
A number of small businesses are working with Dementia Friends to help people affected by dementia. Given that it is Small Business Saturday (5 Dec), we wanted to highlight some of these people who are working with us to make their businesses more dementia-friendly.
Why get your organisation involved with Dementia Friends?
The most common answer when we ask businesses this question is that they want to respond to their customers’ needs and be able to support them as much as possible.
Organisations are realising that they can take action to help people with dementia, and are proactively stepping up to help. Anita Peters from Liverpool Mutual Homes (house repairs & maintenance firm) says ‘The majority of our employees are customer facing and are working in people’s homes. They would be the first to notice if a customer was experiencing difficulties. We wanted to educate our employees on how dementia affects people and how to assist those who have it.’
Andy Barry, Dementia Friends Champion and Adults’ Programme Leader at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester tells us what the theatre is doing to become more dementia-friendly.
Why did you decide to get involved with Dementia Friends?
I attended a Dementia Friends Session through another organisation I volunteer with and found it really useful and enlightening. Although I don’t have a personal connection with dementia I felt I wanted to do more to raise awareness so I decided to attend the Dementia Friends Champion training.
Philippa Tree is the Regional Support Officer (RSO) for the London and South Central region and is responsible for training and supporting all the volunteer Dementia Friends Champions in the region. We chatted with Philippa to find out what keeps her busy and her highlights since joining the team.
What’s a typical day at work like for you?
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical day. I could be travelling across England delivering Dementia Friends Champion induction days, or attending Alzheimer’s Society meetings and working with colleagues to develop the programme, or I could have a full day in the office (always welcome, especially after a few days travelling!) catching up with emails and supporting our volunteer Champions in whatever way I can.