Staff at JoCo Learning & Development Ltd, based in West Bridgford, Nottingham, volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends scheme and have set themselves a target of making 750 Dementia Friends by Christmas!
John Osborne and Farai Pfende are both trained as Dementia Friends Champions and are supported by JoCo to deliver the free, one hour Dementia Friends information sessions.
Over 850,000 people in the UK live with a diagnosis of Dementia. 225,000 people develop dementia every year, that’s roughly one person every three minutes. There are over 1 million dementia friends already in the UK but the Alzheimer’s Society has a target of creating 4 million by 2020.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.
John and Farai have already created over 600 Dementia Friends already since they started volunteering to run sessions. They are also looking to help businesses in particular to become dementia friendly. John Osborne said “We are driven by our professional and personal experiences of this disease to be dementia champions for greater awareness, better care and community support for people living with dementia and their families. Understanding dementia and the person centred approach is no longer only a requirement for those who work in care; it is a community responsibility.”
Farai said, “1 in 3 of us is affected by dementia either as someone with the disease, as a Carer or maybe a friend or relative with dementia but there is still stigma attached to the condition. For anyone in a customer service role, it is simple but vital knowledge which will enable you to understand and help clients and customers who may be dealing with dementia symptoms. At JoCo we see it as a first step towards becoming a dementia friendly organisation”.
The team at Nottingham’s award-winning tourist attraction, The Galleries of Justice Museum have booked a visit from the JoCo Team to help make their staff more dementia-aware. John and Farai will be delivering a Dementia Friends session for the team as part of a training day on the 28th of September. Nicola Burley, Executive Director of the Galleries of Just Museum said: “We had heard that other museums had used this facility and as a proactive organisation we too are keen to be involved and to broaden our awareness of dementia. Not only does it improve the service we can give to our visitors but it also enables us to link with like-minded organisations and to fulfill our social purpose.”
If you would like your staff team or community group to become Dementia Friends and would like a free one hour session, please contact JoCo Learning & Development on 0115 9145879 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can keep up to date with how JoCo are doing with their Christmas target by following them on Twitter and facebook.
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