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Norwich celebrates a successful year of Dementia Friendly Action

dementiafriendly1
Written by Helen Burgess
Norwich Dementia Action Alliance has just published their 2018 Annual Report and it has been an phenomenal year of positive dementia friendly action in the city.

With a total of 78 membership organisations, Norwich is the 2nd largest Dementia Action Alliance in the East of England. Over 250 pledges have been made from a broad range of sectors including transport, housing, technology, retail, legal and leisure. Ranging from training staff to be dementia friendly to raising public awareness to creating dementia friendly environments.

This is an amazing achievement in a little over three years. However, the ambition is high and by 2020 the alliance aspire to become the largest in the east – with 100 members, 7000 dementia friends all with the same shared goal – to make the city a better place for families living with dementia.

2018 Key Achievements:  

2,427 New Dementia Friends dementia friend badge 2

2,427 Dementia Friends have been trained within the city, with 1,180 of those coming from employees and
volunteers of the organisational members. This brings the total to 4,836 since the alliance started.
This is only possible to the 132 volunteer Dementia Champions who run FREE sessions throughout the year.

18 New member organisations

In 2017 the DAA undertook a public survey which revealed transport was a key area of concern for families. Since then – Enterprise Taxis, Nortax Taxis, Norse Transport and Norwich Door to Door are some of the new members pledging to make travel a better experience in the city. They join existing members Norwich Airport and Abellio Railway. The aim for 2019 is to get the bus companies on board as this is one of the most popular methods of travel for older people in the city.

61 New pledges

Norwich Cathedral Forget me Not Service: Public Awareness & Support 

norwich cathedral1

Over 100 people attended the “Forget me not” service in November, providing a safe, reflective space and time for people to consider their own relationship with dementia. Andrew Bryant, Cannon for Mission and Pastoral Care at Norwich Cathedral, said:

“As a cathedral, we want to reach out to particular groups who perhaps don’t get enough attention and focus. For people living with dementia and their carers, it was good to have the service in a familiar space, as lots of people know Norwich Cathedral and see it as a safe space.”

Fosters Solicitors: Training & Public Awareness

In addition to training their staff in dementia awareness, they offered a price reduction in Lasting Powers of Attorney at different times of the year including Dementia Action Week.

Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Dementia Fayre: Public Awareness and Information Sharing

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital hosted a “Living Well with Dementia” fayre.

The event gave opportunity for those living with dementia and their families and carers to see how much dementia support is available in Norfolk and to receive advice on how to live well. The fayre included talks from Dietitians, Speech and Language Therapists, Palliative Care, Physical Health and Cognitive Stimulation experts.

Moving forwards 

Chair of the Dementia Action Alliance and Chief Executive of Age UK Norwich, Dan Skipper said:

“We plan to bring all 78 organisations together during Dementia Action Week 2019 for a big share and grow event. It will be an opportunity for people to share their success stories, inspire new pledges, hear from experts in dementia and shape the alliances future plans as we continue to strive towards our vision – to make Norwich a city that understands, welcomes and includes people living with dementia.”

If you’re planning a trip to Norwich and looking for Dementia Friendly places to shop, eat and visit in the city centre, click here for more information.

If you’d like to become a member of the Norwich Dementia Action Alliance or train to become a Dementia Friend click here for more information or email Marie Lucas – mariejoy.lucas@outlook.com

About the author

Helen Burgess

Helen has worked in the charity sector for 20 years in fundraising and marketing roles. Prior to becoming Regional Manager for Age Space Norfolk, Helen was at Age UK Norwich and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on all aspects of elderly care.