Dementia Friends Champion David Truswell has been involved with the development of the new BAME resources which are now available for Champions to use.
Here David tells us about his experience of using the resources at a recent Session he did for a Chinese audience.
Why I wanted to create Dementia Friends in the Chinese Community
I’ve been in the Steering Group of a Dementia Awareness and Support Project for the Chinese community in London for about 2 years now. The project is run by a voluntary organization, the Chinese National Healthy Living Centre. I became a Dementia Friends Champion earlier this year and hoped to combine both interests!
As part of the A Million Hands partnership between The Scout Association and Alzheimer’s Society, Scout groups can request for Dementia Friends Champions to visit them and deliver a Dementia Friends Information Session.
Dementia Friends Champion Judith Stockton tells us why her Scouts Sessions were some of the most enjoyable Sessions she has run.
Dementia Friends Champion Carolyn Veal-Shaw recently ran a Dementia Friends Information Session for 1st Llantwit Major Cubs, Scouts, Leaders, Young Leaders and Parent Helpers in Wales, helping their local community to become more dementia-friendly. Here Carolyn tells us about the Sessions:
An Alzheimer’s Society dementia support worker has decided to take on the world, in raising awareness about dementia! One of our experienced Dementia Friends Champion Clem Morley delivered a Dementia Friends session for staff at the British Embassy in Paris (whilst on holiday!) on June 26th. Curious as ever we wanted to know how it all went for her, so down below is a brief from the lady herself, on her time in Paris.
“When I first became a Dementia Friends Champion, the idea of leading a Session was quite a daunting concept. I decided to trial it on forgiving family and friends at home in London. We managed to cram 16 people into our living room. All huddled on the sofas and floor eagerly awaiting becoming Dementia Friends. The Information Session went really well and the response was very encouraging. Lots of people mentioned how beneficial they felt the Session would be for friends, family, colleagues, with lots of enthusiastic and proactive actions being discussed.”
Residents of Shiregreen Estate in Sheffield have become Dementia Friends, thanks to a special event held by Sanctuary Housing to mark World Alzheimer’s Month this September.
18 local residents joined Sanctuary staff members at a Dementia Friends Information Session on 21 September, led by the housing provider’s community investment project officer Cherry Shagan, who is also a Dementia Friends Champion.
Set up to commemorate World Alzheimer’s Month, the Session encouraged attendees to carry out a range of activities – like volunteering, campaigning for positive change or visiting someone living with dementia – to help create a more dementia-friendly community.
We want to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to become Dementia Friends. The Dementia Friends team is developing a number of different resources to help Dementia Friends Champions meet the needs of audiences who may have specific requirements.
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.
Dementia Friends Champions Sheila Goodall delivered a Session for her husband who put his learning to good use. Sheila tells us the full story:
‘I am a Dementia Friends Champion, and my husband attended my first Dementia Friends Information Session some time ago now. Yesterday he went to our local supermarket and when he came home he told me that he had had an encounter with a lady on the way to the newspaper counter.
He described the lady as very elegant and debonair looking, she clasped his elbow and called him Malcom and asked what he was doing. He explained he was buying a newspaper and she told him they had already got the papers. With that, another lady, whom he presumed was her carer, stepped in and apologised for what had happened.
Dementia Friends Champion Kristy Adams spent Dementia Awareness Week raising awareness and taking action on a big scale when she made an entire school Dementia Friends.
Kristy had been working with Robert Napier School on an intergenerational relationship project with the aim of, as Kristy says ‘reducing stigma surrounding young people and older people, building confidence and relationships of both groups and reducing isolation and dependency for older people’. As part of the project, students have been visiting a local care home and meeting some of the residents.
When a customer came in to speak to Francesca Hartley, Neighbourhood Coordinator for a housing association in Brighouse, she put what she had learnt at a Dementia Friends Session to good use. Francesca tells us her story:
‘After attending a Dementia Friends Information Session, I had a light bulb moment this morning.
‘A customer came in saying he had lost his key to his bungalow, this isn’t anything new. When the reception staff did some digging the tenant mentioned that he had no furniture in the bungalow and he thinks he was robbed and they locked the door on the way out.