Our first Dementia Friends Champions24 January 2013
Thank you for being part of the growing number of people creating dementia friendly communities together. We are aiming for one million Dementia Friends by 2015 so that people living with dementia can feel included in their communities.
Helen Morris has been helping our London team refine the Dementia Friends Champions' training ready to launch next month
A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who attends an Alzheimer's Society run Champions' training session and then talks to people about being a Dementia Friend in their community.
Helen Morris took part in the Dementia Friends Champions' pilot training and has been helping our London team refine the Champions' training ready to launch next month. Helen shares her feelings about being one of our first Dementia Friends Champions, her plans for running Dementia Friends' information sessions and for a setting up a weekly sing-along all from her local pub.
In fact, Helen's main problem is the risk of getting too over ambitious about being a Dementia Friends Champion. Read her inspirational story on the Dementia Friends blog and we will bring you updates on how Angela, featured in our last newsletter, is doing in future editions.
Survey stories a big thank you
We had a truly amazing response to the survey in the last newsletter. We were impressed by the response to the first survey but, this time, more than 3,000 of you responded that's roughly 30% of the people registered with the Dementia Friends website.
Interestingly, most of you who responded were either people with a relative with dementia or people who were interested in finding out more although there's scope for people with all sorts of backgrounds to get involved.
We've read through your comments and what you told us is incredibly valuable. Here is a selection of comments that are indicative of the themes you raised.
"I work in a supermarket and often come across confused elderly customers and would like more information on how to help."
This is exactly what a local Dementia Friends information session will do. A Dementia Friends Champion will help you understand a little more about what it is like to live with dementia and the things you can do. From helping someone who is confused to spreading the word on social media, every action counts.
"I think it's important to involve younger generations with dementia support it's crucial to equip them to support people in the future."
We agree! Which is why anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. We will have Dementia Friends' information sessions running in schools and colleges. It will take us a little time to get these up and running but we will get there.
"I would be interested in working to raise funds I think there would be a high level of interest/support in the legal profession."
One of the many ways you can support Dementia Friends is through raising funds and a Dementia Friends Champion will give you suggestions at your local information sessions. You will shortly be able to search for local information sessions and to reach organisations that need donations and fundraising support through the new Dementia Friends website.
"I'm keen to get involved but you really need to get a bit more information out about what the role is and what's expected of people it's all a bit vague at the moment!"
We have been busy running the pilot Champions' training and getting our new interactive, digital platform ready to launch. This will have all the information about being a Dementia Friend and a Champion, as well as being the place where you can tell us about the things you are doing to help create dementia friendly communities. It is launching next month and we will publish more details as soon as we can.
In the meantime you can join the 2,000 friends on Facebook and 1,600 followers on Twitter.
Thank you for being our first Dementia Friends. Because together, we can create more dementia friendly communities.
Dementia Friends job opportunities
We are looking for three people to train and support Dementia Friends Champions, based in London, York and Reading. As well as rolling out training sessions, you will be the link person to the dementia-related services, alliances and campaigns in the region. If you, or someone you know, have volunteer management and training experience, and would like to join the Dementia Friends team, find out more on Alzheimer's Society job pages.
Friends' information sessions are run by Dementia Friends Champions to help you understand what it's like to live with dementia and the actions you can take. Search for your nearest information session.
Our training prepares Dementia Friends Champions to help people understand what it's like to live with dementia and the actions they can take in their communities. Search for your nearest training.
Friends' information sessions are run by Dementia Friends Champions to help you understand what it is like to live with dementia the actions you can take. Search for your nearest information session.