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Taxi drivers sign up to become trained as Dementia Friends

PUBLISHED: 08:25 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 23 May 2018

City taxi drivers get together after they all have been trained as dementia friends, with Marie Lucas, front centre in blue, dementia development lead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

City taxi drivers get together after they all have been trained as dementia friends, with Marie Lucas, front centre in blue, dementia development lead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Taxi drivers and companies from across Norwich have signed up to put dementia on the map.

City taxi drivers get together after they all have been trained as dementia friends, with Marie Lucas, third left, dementia development lead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCity taxi drivers get together after they all have been trained as dementia friends, with Marie Lucas, third left, dementia development lead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

To mark Dementia Action Week, the drivers met at the popular Britannia Cafe yesterday to mark their support.

The drivers are preparing to become trained as Dementia Friends to improve taxi journeys around the city.

The move comes from a Norwich City Dementia Alliance survey asking older people what help they most need.

A spokesman for Enterprise Taxis said: “From our perspective we’re training our drivers because it’s all about awareness and anyone can get dementia, it’s not just aimed at older people.”

City taxi drivers get together after they all have been trained as dementia friends, with Marie Lucas, front centre in blue, dementia development lead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCity taxi drivers get together after they all have been trained as dementia friends, with Marie Lucas, front centre in blue, dementia development lead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Marie Lucas, dementia development lead for city-based Age UK Norwich, said: “It was highlighted that transport was often an issue undermining people’s confidence or just stopping them getting out to meet friends and use the city’s services.

“One of our alliance priorities will be to make transport more accessible to people with dementia and their carers so they have the confidence to travel when visiting the city of using the service.”

Norse, Enterprise, Nortax and Canary Taxis have signed up their staff to be trained as dementia friends.

The training gives drivers some empowerment and confidence in dealing with their service users especially when difficult and challenging situations arise.

Mrs Lucas added: “Having drivers as Dementia Friends is incredibly important and gives a sense of comfort and security to those living with dementia and their families when getting out and about in the city.”

The Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) is currently working with local taxi operators to join the alliance - which was launched in January 2017, bringing together businesses, charities and other local organisations to make Norwich a dementia friendly city.

An estimated 16,400 people in Norfolk have dementia - that is equivalent to one in every 53 people, or the populations of Cromer, Hunstanton and Holt combined.

Alzheimer’s Society is working in partnership with Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance to encourage people across Norfolk to take actions, big or small, and unite against the illness this Dementia Action Week.


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