In what proved to be a very busy few months of engaging with the public to try and raise awareness of dementia, BUDI held its first Dementia Friends Training session in September. People with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community. The Prime Ministers Challenge and the Alzheimer Society national initiative – Dementia Friends – is giving the general public an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia – from raising dementia awareness in customer-facing staff to spreading the word about dementia. http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/
20 BU staff and students responded to the invitation to take part and the training was delivered by one of BUDIs research collaborators Ian Sherriff at Plymouth University, who is also a Trustee of the Alzheimer Society, and a member of one of the Prime Minister’s national Dementia Working Groups. Friends’ information sessions are run by Dementia Friends Champions, who are volunteers who have taken the Dementia Friends Champions’ training. The Friends’ information session lasted around one hour and we learnt more about dementia and how we can help to create dementia friendly communities in our working environment and in our local community. The session was good fun and made everyone realise how they can contribute to making the lives of those living with dementia easier.
Professor Anthea Innes and BUDI PhD student Ben Hicks were so inspired by the friends training they have agreed to become Dementia Champions to help train more BU staff and students to become dementia friends. The one-hour training session is free and will be offered at different points in the year to any BU staff or students who want to become a Dementia Friend. If you are interested in becoming a dementia friend and want to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in your community please contact Michelle O’Brien to book your place (Email: email@example.com Telephone: 01202 962771)