Dementia Friends was launched in 2013 by the Alzheimer’s Society to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around dementia which means that many people with the disease can face social exclusion.
Today, it has become the UK’s biggest ever social movement with over 2 million Dementia Friends nationally and one in every 30 people in England, Northern Ireland and Wales involved. West Berkshire currently has over 900 Dementia Friends.
A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. A Dementia Friend can help in many ways.
This can be by staying in touch with someone they know who is living with dementia, volunteering for an organisation the helps people with dementia, signing up to the Alzheimer’s Society campaigns to improve the lives of people living with dementia, wearing their Dementia Friends badge and telling friends about the initiative or simply being more patient when out in their communities.
James Fredrickson, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health said, “Being a Dementia Friend is really important and anyone of any age can do it. Whether they actively meet with people living with dementia or simply spread the word to create more awareness about dementia, they are really supporting people living with the disease to live well in their community. We are proud to say that we have over 900 Dementia Friends in West Berkshire which means we are well on the way to becoming a Dementia Friendly community. However, we always need more so we’re asking people to become involved in any way they can.”
If you would like to host a Dementia Friends Session for your workplace, social group or club or would like to know more about your Dementia Friendly Community Forum please contact Sue Butterworth, Dementia Friendly Community Programme Officer (01635) 503410 or [email protected]
“Becoming a Dementia Friend taught me a lot about what I can do to help people living with dementia in our community” Rachel, West Berks.
“The content of the Dementia Friends Information Session was engaging and thought provoking. It made me appreciate what it might be like to have dementia” Alexandra, Newbury.
Find a local Dementia Friends Session or become a Dementia Friend at www.dementiafriends.org.uk/