Helen Morris has been helping our London team refine the Dementia Friends Champions’ training ready to launch next month

Helen Morris

Helen Morris

Helen Morris took part in the Dementia Friends Champions’ pilot training and has been helping our London team refine the Champions’ training ready to launch next month. Helen shares her feelings about being one of our first Dementia Friends Champions.

“Baby steps”…… this is my mantra! I am resisting my natural inclinations to go large.

In fact I am starting in my natural environment – with people I already know in my local pub, the wonderful Swan Inn in rural Dobcross, tucked away in the Pennine hills. The landlords, Tim and Michael, are letting me use the pub facilities free of charge.

So here are the things I am planning:

  1. Using downloadable templates (available from the Dementia Friends website shortly) I will run Dementia Friends’ information sessions to enthuse fellow pub-goers to think how they might make life a little better for neighbours living with dementia in our community.
  2. Every week I will put in a question about dementia to our pub quiz (again using Dementia Friends resources) and landlords Tim and Michael will give Dementia Friends a mention.
  3. The most ambitious project planned will still be a very ‘light touch’ affair. People living with dementia often retain a tremendous enjoyment of music and can usually sing entire songs from earlier in their lives, without the words! So I am running a sing-along on a Friday afternoon, when the pub is closed. We may even attract a friendly local pianist and some friends from singing groups to boost us along. I will promote it in the Post Office, local notice boards and our local free paper, where the editor is making encouraging noises about Dementia Friends.

Why am I getting so much support?

It’s important I think that I’m not seeking funding or running risk assessments. I’m just asking for a free location where public liability is already covered and a bit of people’s time. I’m hoping that we can create a regular, sociable hour for people in the community living with dementia – something that can be repeated in each village in this rural area. But that’s back to the “baby steps” I mentioned earlier – let’s get the first one done, well, first.

It’s still a bit scary but with the website materials and the pub support “something tells me I’m into something good.”

Helen Morris
Dementia Friends Champion

10 thoughts on “Helen Morris has been helping our London team refine the Dementia Friends Champions’ training ready to launch next month

  1. folasade ajadi

    Quite inspiring reading Helen’s motivitational experience with your organisation.
    It would be a pleasure to contribute my own little quota to make the lives of those grappling with one of the most ”baftling” aspect of medical science; drawing from my own wealth of personal experience from such lives testing challenges.

  2. Jim

    I would like to highlight to the carers and family of people living with Dementia that the Ring & Ride service in the West Midlands is available to assist them. We can provide help in getting around in the local area e.g shooping, Doctorts appointments, lunch clubs, day car centres etc. etc. This is a very affordable service. Please feel free to contact me for further information. I would post my contact details but I am not sure thats allowed.

  3. Jennifer noble

    I remember as part of my nurse training taking part in a session called “in their shoes” when we had to experience how it felt to have dementia and it was such a valuable learning tool I have never forgotten what they made us do even though this happened over 30yrs ago and could be a valuable learning experience if it could help people uderstand what it is like to have dementia.

  4. Lynda

    Well done Helen! Looks like you are up and running (or should that be ‘walking fast)! You have some good ideas and great support from Tim and Michael. It’s not just the many people with Dementia that need support. Those wishing to help Dementia sufferers, and their families, will also need support in getting things up and running……’Rome wasn’t built in a day’…….but everyone pulled together and it was BUILT!
    So, more power to your elbow, and vocal chords! Have fun and spread the word.
    As you say ‘Something tells me I’m into something good’….think there’s a song there to….Herman’s Hermits!!
    LJ 🙂

  5. Michelle Buck

    This sounds fab Hele!! I too with the wonderful support of volunteers are trying to develop a group of people to help support and understand Dementia within Barnard Castle, if you have any tips etc it would help us a lot!!

    Good luck for the future
    Michele Buck (Lifestyle Coordinator)
    The Manor House
    Barnard Castle
    Johns Street
    DL12 8ET

  6. Pingback: » Great Day with Alzheimer’s Society Close Communications

  7. Jan Spinks

    Hi there Helen
    What your doing is truly amazing, I wish you every success in this venture. I work as a private carer and have clients who suffer with dementia. It is very rewarding when I see a smile on their face, knowing that if you put in a little bit of effort ,you can bring a whole lot of joy into other peoples lives. Awareness is definately the key to bring to light the whole aspect of Dementia and how it changes their lives and those of thier families.
    Good Luck Jan

  8. Ralph

    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Ralph, it would be great if you could share our blog, Dementia Friends is all about spreading awareness of dementia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.