A whole school of Dementia Friends

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.

To support the project, Kristy ran an initial Dementia Friends Information Session for 14 of the students involved. After the Session, the students were committed to raising awareness and had the ambitious idea of making the entire school Dementia Friends! For Dementia Awareness Week 2015, the students organised a whole week of activity, including raising over £200 for Alzheimer’s Society. They also helped Kristy to organise the Dementia Friends Sessions. In one single day they ran four Sessions for students and staff, making an incredible 650 Dementia Friends in the process. Kristy said they were ‘so busy running the Sessions, we forgot to take any pictures!’

After the Dementia Friends Sessions, the students pledged to continue their involvement with Charing house, with one group pledging to visit the home and read to the residents. One pupil asked for extra information to take home and share with his family as his grandad has recently been diagnosed with dementia. The school has also pledged to continue making all new pupils Dementia Friends and to direct parents to the Dementia Friends website so that they can get involved.

Kristy works for the charity ‘Kissing It Better’ and she says that ‘as a charity we have pledged to make all the young people and volunteers we work with nationwide Dementia Friends. We will also encourage schools we work with to follow the example of Robert Napier and encourage all their students to become Dementia Friends.

8 thoughts on “A whole school of Dementia Friends

  1. teresa

    The moment in Sainsbury when people tut because I’m helping mum to pay for her shopping herself, the way no one cares no one visits, her brother doesn’t phone her he doesn’t want to get stuck, her funeral when it comes no one will be told they’re not interested now too late when she’s gone age uk leave them sitting staring

  2. Naama

    Great job, Kristy! I would love to speak with you as we are trying to implement the dementia friends model in Israel. Can I get your contact information?

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Naama – thanks for your interest in Dementia Friends. I understand a member of our team will be in contact with you this week.

      Best wishes,

      The Dementia Friends team

  3. Liz Armstrong

    It’s great the work this school has done. Not only making young people aware of dementia but by also bringing the young and old together. My mom suffered alziemers and loved to watch young children, would always bring a smile to her face. Hope all schools become involved.

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