Dementia-friendly Wells launched at public meeting

A meeting was held at Wells Community Hospital to combat dementia. Picture: Ian Burt

A meeting was held at Wells Community Hospital to combat dementia. Picture: Ian Burt

Wells took another step towards becoming the UK's first dementia-friendly tourist destination as charities, campaigners and businesses met to discuss the way forward.

BBC Radio Norfolk presenter and EDP columnist Nick Conrad compered the session, at Wells Community Hospital.

He told the 40-strong audience, which also included councillors, members of the emergency services and carers: 'I hope what we're doing here will be given national attention and people will say that's the way to move things forward.'

County councillor Marie Strong, who chaired the meeting, said: 'Wells becoming a dementia-friendly town is not simply a question of persuading more people to holiday in Wells but to ensure those who visit and are in the early stage of dementia, or are bringing a friend or family member at that stage, are made to feel secure and welcome.'

Businesses including Arthur Howell, the Crown Hotel, Holkham estate, Bang in Wells and the town's Co-op supermarket pledged to train staff to support customers with dementia. Representatives from the town's churches, Coastwatch and RNLI are backing the initiative, along with the police, fire service and Wells Coastal Communities Team.


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Tina Bell, training officer with Age UK Norfolk, said training sessions would be held in the town in October. Age UK produces a tool kit containing advice for businesses looking to improve the support they offer customers with dementia.

A garden party is being held at the community hospital and neighbouring Heritage House day care centre on Saturday, September 10, while the Holkham estate is hosting a memory walk on Sunday, September 18.

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A public meeting is being held in the Prince of Wales Stand at Fakenham Racecourse on Thursday (6.30pm), to discuss making Fakenham dementia-friendly.

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