In May 2014 Marks & Spencer launched their Dementia Friends activity and all 79,600 Marks & Spencer's staff became Dementia Friends after watching the newly created videos. Since then they have continued to be involved and have gone on to have staff train as Dementia Friends Champions so they can run Information Sessions.
Beth Ryder, Employee Wellbeing Manager, highlighted that a big success of Dementia Friends was the employee engagement; ‘The initiative really flew in terms of hearts and minds. Employees were proud that M&S were talking about dementia; they wear their badge with pride and feel they are able to support customers more.’
Lloyds Banking Group’s involvement with Dementia Friends began in April 2013. Since then over 100 staff members have attended the one day induction to become Dementia Friends Champions. These Champions have helped create a further 8,000 Dementia Friends within the organisation. Later on the Group also added training videos to their e-learning portal, enabling more staff to work within their own time constraints and their own convenience to help build their capabilities to become Dementia Friends.
Central Bedfordshire Council’s involvement in Dementia Friends began in September 2014. The Council’s Chief Executive gave all council officers the opportunity to become Dementia Friends. They have organised for information sessions to be run at their offices as well as having had a number of staff go on to train as Dementia Friends Champions. They have found that the Information Sessions have highlighted the amount of people touched by dementia in immediate family or friends. They are also promoting the development of Dementia Friendly Communities in their area supporting local people to become Dementia Friends.