Local retailers in Witney will be demonstrating their commitment to making the town a Dementia Friendly Community by ‘turning the High Street blue’ throughout Dementia Awareness Week 2016 (15th - 21st May).
Richmond Witney Retirement Village and Witney Town Council launched the initiative to promote the Dementia Friends initiative locally.
Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society led initiative which aims to increase dementia awareness and change the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about dementia. A Dementia Friend is someone who has attended a free one hour information session and has committed to an action that will make the lives of people living with dementia a little bit better. Anyone can be a Dementia Friend and every action counts - from helping someone to find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia on social media.
Local businesses were invited to promote the Dementia Friends initiative in two ways:
Turn the town centre blue - create blue window displays for the week and to enhance them
using free promotional packs containing themed balloons and posters provided by Richmond Retirement Village Witney.
Make 1000 new Dementia Friends – businesses to encourage their staff to attend a Dementia Friends Information Session.
The response to date has been fantastic with the majority of local businesses signing up to turn their shop fronts blue for the week.
Dementia Friends Information Sessions will be running throughout the week at the Corn Exchange, Richmond Witney Marketing Suite, Deer Park Medical Centre, Como Lounge, Tremain Veterinary Surgery and Nelson Colony Beavers Group (Buttercross Scouts).
Having volunteered to become Dementia Friends Champions, the team at Richmond Village
Witney are now regularly delivering Dementia Friends Sessions to people across Witney. Volunteer, Suzi Morgan said: ‘I signed up to be a Dementia Friends Champion because I want to help to make Witney a Dementia Friendly Community.
It’s easy to get involved. I attended a training course, receive ongoing support and I’m now proud to be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.’
Emily Fisher, Dementia Friends Regional Support Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the country. Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion. It’s all about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From getting in touch with someone you know living with dementia to wearing your badge with pride, every action counts.’
For further information about Dementia Friends in Witney please contact Suzi Morgan on 01993 768557 or email suzi.morgan@richmond-villages. Alternatively, drop into the Richmond Villages Marketing Suite, 58 High Street