City guides are given training so they can help people with dementia

Norwich BID City Hosts have had training to become Dementia Friends. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich BID City Hosts have had training to become Dementia Friends. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

City guides have received special training to help them assist people with dementia.

The team of 54 volunteers are usually responsible for providing guidance to people visiting Norwich.

But with the number of people affected by dementia in Norfolk expected to rise they have undergone training to spot the signs of the condition. It will enable them to better help someone with the condition should they get into trouble in the city centre.

Mike King, city host manager, said: 'It's great the hosts have been offered this opportunity to become dementia friends through the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance. 'Our volunteers interact with lots of different people in the city centre and receiving this training has increased our awareness of dementia and ensures we improve our response to the illness and offer understanding and care.'

Dementia Friends is a national scheme that aims to change the way people think about the condition.

Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) hosts teamed up with the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance to improve their knowledge of the condition.

It is estimated that 14,000 people are currently living with dementia in Norfolk and that by 2021 this will have increased to 17,000.

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Norwich's City Hosts were introduced by BID in 2013 to promote the area and help people find different places to visit. On average they speak to around 75 people each day.

The voluntary role took inspiration from the 2012 London Olympics games makers and they are instantly recognisable thanks to their 'Here to Help' blue tabards.

BID's long term plan is to have hosts visible in the city seven days a week from 10am to 6pm.

To become a city host visit: www.norwichbid.co.uk/the-norwich-experience/city-hosts/

Are you launching a new community organisation? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

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