More than 100 individuals, community groups, charitable organisations and businesses in South Gloucestershire attended an event today (January 12, 2015) to mark the official launch of South Gloucestershire becoming dementia-friendly.
South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance, which will support communities and organisations in becoming dementia-friendly, launched at Coniston Community Centre in Patchway on Monday, January 12.
The alliance is a Southern Brooks Community Partnership project in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society, NHS South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Gloucestershire Council.
Paul Frisby, Partnership Manager at South Gloucestershire CCG, the GP-led body responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the local population, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with how many people have come along to the launch today to show their support in making the whole of South Gloucestershire a dementia-friendly community.
“The Dementia Action Alliance is a two-year pilot project jointly funded by the CCG and the Public Health and Social Care departments of South Gloucestershire Council to support communities and organisations across South Gloucestershire in becoming dementia-friendly.
“Following a successful pilot in Patchway, which saw the town become the first dementia-friendly community in South Gloucestershire, work to support communities and organisations across the whole of South Gloucestershire become dementia-friendly has been commissioned.
“South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance will work with local businesses, community groups, statutory and voluntary agencies to make South Gloucestershire a better place for people with dementia and their carers to live.”
Community Development Worker for Southern Brooks Community Partnership, Eleanor Fairbrother, who is leading the project, said: “We have launched the Dementia Action Alliance because we want to get everyone to talk about dementia to reduce stigma and stop people becoming isolated unnecessarily.
“We want people living with dementia to be able to lead normal, active lives for as long as possible. We are looking for people, and organisations to get in touch and start making changes in their own communities.”
Amanda Deeks, Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire Council, was a keynote speaker at the event.
She said: “The South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance is working towards making our region a place where people with dementia and their carers are understood, respected and supported. We aim to enable people with dementia to feel included and involved in our communities, and importantly to have choice and control over their day to day lives.
“To help achieve this, our librarians in South Gloucestershire libraries have recently received training to be dementia friends, as have many council staff within a variety of service areas. The South Gloucestershire Council website features a host of information relating to dementia, from details of support groups in the community and locations of local Memory Cafés, to advice on becoming a Dementia Friend. A number of local organisations and individuals have also committed to make themselves more dementia-friendly.”