Organisations throughout Blackpool have rallied together under the direction of the local Dementia Action Alliance and with the support of the Blackpool Fairness Commission to make the resort a safer and more dementia friendly town.
Over the last four years work has taken place across the town to raise awareness, increase knowledge and support for those living with dementia whilst developing approximately 6000 people to become Dementia Friends.
Local businesses and organisations, including our blue light services, Council staff and many others have also become Dementia Friendly ambassadors by taking part in the Alzheimer’s Dementia friend’s sessions.
Blackpool Transport over the last two years have worked to ensure all their staff have received dementia friends session making them the first transport company in the country to do so, such a great achievement for Blackpool.
Councillor Christine Wright is Blackpool’s older persons champion and has been an advocate for the dementia friend’s initiative since its inception.
Her work with Blackpool Transport, community groups and those living with dementia has been instrumental in ensuring Blackpool has been given the dementia friendly town status. On becoming dementia friendly, Councillor Wright stated: “I am over the moon that Blackpool has achieved Dementia Friendly Town status. I am also extremely thankful to Jane Cole from Blackpool Transport who has not only realised my wishes, but surpassed them. It just shows that working together as a team, anything is achievable.”
David Houston, chair of the Dementia Action Alliance added: “We are really pleased to have Blackpool Transport on board as a partner with the DAA. They are leading the way in showing how local businesses in Blackpool can transform the lives of local people with dementia and their loved ones. We hope other Blackpool businesses will follow their lead and work with us to help Blackpool become a dementia friendly town.”
To maintain the dementia Friendly Town status, Blackpool partners will continue to strive towards ensuring those living with dementia and their carers have the knowledge and support required to live well. Councillor Amy Cross added: ‘Blackpool Council have made a commitment to improving the lives of those living with dementia and train all our staff and councillors around this subject. It is important that as many people as possible recognise the signs and symptoms of dementia and have the support they need.’
The success of a Fylde-wide Dementia Hub, set up in partnership with Public Health Blackpool support and in co-operation with a number of local charities, has seen more people using the services than ever before. The Dementia Hub is a ‘one stop shop’ providing support and information from a wide range of local services designed to help those affected by dementia. It’s a friendly environment, and provides access to all kinds of support for people who have been diagnosed with dementia and their carers. It might also be of interest to people who have concerns about their memory, but have not been diagnosed.
To celebrate the milestone, a number of activities and events are planned during Dementia Action Week from 21st – 27th May 2018. These events will take place across the Fylde Coast including Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Clifton Hospital and many other locations. The Fylde Coast dementia Hub will play host to a special event to mark the week with a production of ‘Over the Garden Fence’ at the Grand Theatre on the 18th May. Tickets can be booked via the Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/over-the-garden-fence-tickets-42785765376
Prior to Dementia Action Week, we will be hosting the fifth annual Dancing with Dementia on June 6th at the Empress Ballroom. To find out more contact Emily Davis on 01253 476377