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Pledges to make Norwich ‘dementia friendly’ pour in from across the community

PUBLISHED: 13:06 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 15 March 2017

Staff at Norwich Airport are given dementia training by Age UK Norwich's Marie Lucas (front right). Picture submitted by Age UK Norwich.

Staff at Norwich Airport are given dementia training by Age UK Norwich's Marie Lucas (front right). Picture submitted by Age UK Norwich.

Archant

More than 100 pledges have been made across Norwich as the drive to create a ‘dementia friendly’ city gathers pace.

The scheme’s membership has now grown to include 30 organisations across Norwich, with companies such as Cinema City, Clapham and Collinge Solicitors, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Greater Anglia, and Nuffield Health all joining since January’s launch.

Each member of the project must achieve three pledges to play its part in making the city a more welcoming and helpful place for people living with dementia.

Pledges include hosting dementia-friendly film screenings (Cinema City), taking a production into care homes for people with dementia (Norwich Playhouse), and training staff to becocme ‘dementia friends’.

So far more than 500 dementia friends have already been trained, including a first batch of staff at Archant, with organisers Age UK Norwich hoping to have 7,000 dementia friends in the city by 2020.

It comes as experts predict the number of people with dementia in Norfolk is set for a 35pc increase in the next eight years, from 14,000 to 19,000.

Dan Skipper, chief operating officer of Age UK Norwich and campaign lead, said: “I have been really encouraged by the diversity of our members who range from every aspect of our city community — small independents, community groups, statutory services, and large corporations.

“It clearly shows, that no matter your size or sector, organisations can get involved to help make Norwich dementia friendly.

“We still need to grow our membership to build a critical mass of organisations who represent every sector and part of the Norwich landscape.

“I encourage all local businesses, charities, social groups, networks, whatever size or function, to get in touch to see how they can get involved — every single pledge helps, no matter how small.

“Local people can also help by becoming a dementia friend — it’s free and with lots of drop-in sessions across the city, it couldn’t be easier.”

To find out more about helping Norwich become a dementia friendly city contact Dan Skipper by calling 01603 496333 or email dan.skipper@ageuknorwich.org.uk

Case study - Norwich Airport

Organisations covering any walk of life can do their bit to make Norwich a dementia friendly city.

One such organisation is Norwich Airport, which is working to achieve its three pledges for the campaign.

To achieve this the airport wants to give people living with dementia, and their carers, the freedom and confidence to travel.

The airport hopes to do this by encouraging passengers affected by dementia to visit and tour its facilities prior to the day of travel.

Managers hope this will help remove any concerns or worries the passengers may have, and give them confidence to use aeroplanes.

Jamie Price, airport security manager, said: “Norwich Airport is seeking to give those living with hidden disabilities and their families the opportunity to enjoy their passenger journey through our airport, and will endeavour to make every effort to support them and improve their overall experience”

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