North Warwickshire awarded Dementia Friendly status for community work

The North Warwickshire Dementia Friendly Communities Working Group (DFC), established to promote dementia friendliness, has supported North Warwickshire borough to gain their ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ status.

Currently, there are estimated to be over 800 people living with Dementia in North Warwickshire borough and gaining ‘Working to become Dementia friendly’ status recognised the work of the DFC group to make services throughout the borough accessible to all, particularly in the hard to reach rural areas.

With representation from Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and North Warwickshire Borough Council (NWBC), community and voluntary organisations, the North Warwickshire Dementia Friendly Communities Working Group was established in 2014 to ensure the communities in North Warwickshire are more aware of Dementia and better able to support those living with dementia and their carers.

Kat Horner, Dementia Friendly Communities Officer – West Midlands from the Alzheimer’s Society said:

“On 11 November 2019, to celebrate all the wonderful work being done around Dementia in North Warwickshire, we were delighted to recognise the group as working to become a Dementia Friendly Community (DFC).

“As the numbers of people living with dementia are predicted to rise, it’s important that we take a shared responsibility to ensure that people with dementia are understood, supported and able to continue to be a part of their local community.”

Becky Hale, Warwickshire County Council’s Assistant Director for People Strategy and Commissioning, added:

“In Warwickshire, the County Council has been encouraging Warwickshire residents and workforce to become Dementia Friends; aiming to increase understanding of dementia and awareness of how to help. We are now nearing the total of 30,000 Dementia Friends across the county.

“Dementia Friendly Communities are a fantastic model of how communities can support each other; by having a body of residents who are willing and ready to support people with dementia and to also support those who care for them. That kind of dementia-friendly presence in our communities means that people living with dementia are supported to get out and about in their community which is very beneficial to their health and wellbeing.”

So far, the North Warwickshire DFC group have established over 1,000 Dementia Friends in the borough. The DFC group is also supporting local community venues and leisure centres to make changes to their environments that can better support people living with Dementia. The group is working with GPs, the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Warwickshire’s Dementia Navigator Service to signpost to local services and is instrumental in the setup of additional Dementia activities including memory café’s and Dementia-friendly cinema screenings.

Since the recognition from The Alzheimer’s Society, the North Warwickshire Group is continuing its commitment to Dementia and is starting to involve local businesses to support the initiative. The group is also encouraging parish and town councils to get involved and ensuring that people living with Dementia have as much access to local support and services as possible. For more information on becoming a Dementia Friend visit dementiafriends.org.uk

For more information on services and support available in North Warwickshire or to get involved visit https://dementia.warwickshire.gov.uk/dementia-friendly-communities/services-support/ or email northernareateam@warwickshire.gov.uk