Southampton Football Club has taken a key step towards helping end the stigma surrounding dementia this week by becoming Dementia Friends.
Lawrie McMenemy, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, was one of 20 people who took part in a number of exercises aimed at helping participants understand the effect of dementia on people’s everyday lives. Lawire said:
"I've signed up to show my support for Dementia Friends, and am encouraging people in Southampton to do the same too. Former Saints defender, Kevin Moore, died aged just 55 with a rare form of dementia called Pick’s disease and with a growing number of people living with dementia, it's more important than ever we all have a better understanding of the condition. Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia. From helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia, it can help make our local community a better place to live.”
Gary Walker, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for the area, said: “Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn’t about creating experts, it’s about helping people understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.”
The Dementia Friend session at the football club is a move for the club to become more dementia friendly, as part of the Dementia Friendly Southampton project funded by Southampton City Council. The project is focusing on creating Dementia Friendly Communities across the city. Alzheimer’s Society is delighted Southampton Football Club is taking action to become more dementia-friendly and is now calling on more organisations and neighbourhoods to follow in their footsteps.
For more information on Dementia Friendly Communities and the official recognition process log on to www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiafriendlycommunities or to find out more on how to become a Dementia Friend and Friends Champion log on to www.dementiafriends.org.uk