Borough committed to support people with dementia

16 May 2017

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, Woking Borough Council launched a Borough-wide Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) at a special event at Woking Library on Tuesday 16 May 2017.

Members of the public were invited to attend a free 60 minute Dementia Friends session on Tuesday 16 May at Woking Library. The informal session was open to everyone and was designed to help people understand dementia, be aware of signs of dementia and learn ways to support people with dementia. The talk included an introduction to The Reminiscence Collection. A series of books, DVDs, games, activities and even a scent box, all from the 1920s onwards, available to borrow from any Surrey Library and designed to help people with memory impairments.

At the end of the session, participants were invited to become a Dementia Friend, which meant pledging one thing they would do to turn understanding into action.

The Dementia Action Alliance

Local DAAs, such as the Woking DAA, bring together local businesses, faith and community groups to create dementia-friendly communities. They are a way to develop communities where people with dementia feel confident, understood and supported to live well.

The Woking DAA has agreed four key aims:

  • Encourage ongoing social movement towards creating Dementia Friendly Communities.

  • Raise the general public’s awareness of the increasingly dementia friendly environments.

  • Raise awareness to people affected by dementia of the accessibility of more organisations for people with dementia.

  • Enable people affected by dementia to have a voice in Woking.

The roll-out of the scheme across the Borough follows the success of the recent DAA meeting in Goldsworth Park, where local businesses, faith and community groups were encouraged to identify simple changes they can make within their workplaces and organisations, to become more dementia friendly.

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Well-being, said: “Following the success of the Goldsworth Park DAA pilot project, we are delighted that we can now launch a Borough-wide Dementia Action Alliance. Through this initiative, our aim is to raise awareness of dementia and its impact. We want to encourage and support action which will help transform the quality of life for people living with dementia and those who care for them. By working together we can help achieve a truly dementia-friendly Borough.”

Lauren Merrison, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for Dementia Friendly Communities in Surrey, said: “People with dementia and their carers talk about the everyday challenges they face in living well with dementia. Help from health and care services is vitally important but making it possible for people affected by dementia to live well, requires a wide range of organisations to look at how they can make a difference for people affected by dementia in their community.

“There are currently over 16,000 people living with dementia in Surrey alone, with thousands of families and friends acting as primary carers. Making simple changes to premises and public spaces can make all the difference in supporting those diagnosed with the condition to continue with their everyday routine We firmly believe that individuals can live well with dementia, and that by working together to develop Dementia Friendly Communities individuals, and their family’s experiences can only be enhanced.”

For more information about DAA or to find out about future DAA events, please contact Stephen Petford on 07825 111473 or email dementiafriendly@woking.gov.uk