Each month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answer one of your Dementia Friends Champions questions. Aimee Packwood, DFO for the South West, answers this month’s question:
I’ve been asked to run an info stand to raise awareness of Dementia Friends – what can I do?
Thanks so much for helping us to promote Dementia Friends! Having a stall is a great way to talk to people about what Dementia Friends is and why they should sign up, and can help us to reach lots of people who haven’t heard of Dementia Friends.
With your help, this month Alzheimer’s Society will be electing two new Trustees and, if you’re a Dementia Friends Champion, you’ll have the chance to vote for who you believe will be an effective Trustee and who will be an ambassador for all our volunteers and Champions. Read on to learn more about the role and how to cast your vote. Voting opens 13 July 2016 and closes 31 August 2016.
Have you run an Information Session in an unusual place? Perhaps it was on a boat, in a car or at the top of a mountain?
We’re putting together a list of interesting places that Champions have run Information Sessions in, and we need your help! Let us know the most interesting places you’ve run a Session in, and you could feature in the next Champions newsletter.
Each month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answer one of your Dementia Friends Champions questions. Ian Hind, DFO for the East Midlands, answers this month’s question: Dementia Friends
Can I run an Information Session in a shorter time?
Wherever possible we would prefer the standard information Session (45 – 60 min) to be run. However, sometimes an organisation or community group only has 30 minutes to give you. In which case, the struggle is how to keep to the time, and how to change the Session plan.
What inspired you to become a Dementia Friends Champion?
I signed up to become a Champion the week my Gran passed away, who had dementia. I realised after attending an Information Session how little I had known about it. With both the parents of my best friend also very suddenly developing dementia at about the same time, I felt compelled to do something, and spread the word on how with the right level of support and understanding, it is possible to live well with dementia.
It has also helped me with my day job, as I work in a Learning & Development team at RBS. I help design and develop, learning which equips staff with the skills and knowledge, to enhance the overall experience of our Customers in Vulnerable Situations.
For some Champions, language is not a barrier when it comes to running Sessions. Catherine Lewis-Dobson recently ran two Sessions at the request of the Hyde Community Action, for Bengali speaking women. Given that she does not know Bengali, and the attendees spoke little English, she used the services of a Community Worker who had attended one of her English Sessions to be an interpreter. Cathy tells us more about how the it worked and gives some tips for other Champions:
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 ChampionClem 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.”