Working for Eurovia, a business that delivers highways and infrastructure schemes, Julies’ role within the company is to engage with local communities and businesses affected by works. She decided to sign up to a Dementia Friends Session to increase her knowledge and improve the way she communicated with people living with dementia. She says the Session was ‘a real light bulb moment’.
“It helped me to see past my own misconceptions and understand from a contractor’s point of view how we could improve accessibility to members of the public…Understanding that black patches and ramps could look like deep holes was a real eye opener.”
After the Session, Julie was inspired and highlighted the importance for a business to deliver Dementia Friends Sessions to their workforce with her manager. Soon afterwards, she became a Dementia Friends Champion and was able to deliver Information Sessions herself!
“I have to admit that my first Session delivering to operatives was quite scary…wondering if people would understand and take on board the information. I needn’t have worried though as the Information Sessions created by Dementia Friends are really engaging and informative.”
Eurovia wanted to encourage members of the pubic to ask for help and decided to look for ways to raise the profile of their teams support for Dementia Friends.
“The big idea was to use ‘I’m a Dementia Friend’ stickers originally used for children’s information Sessions and placing them on hardhats of those employees who are Dementia Friends. The stickers really did raise the profile of our Dementia Friends and we received many positive comments from members of the public and an increase in people asking for help.”
Julie says this was a great platform to springboard Dementia Friends Sessions across the company. She was soon invited to speak at staff training events and to deliver Dementia Friends Sessions at other city centre improvement schemes across the country.
Within the last 18 months Julie has made 340 Dementia Friends in North Yorkshire, Warrington, Manchester, Rotherham, Derby, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Bristol, Horsham and High Wycombe and even won a special recognition innovation award – fantastic work Julie!