Staff at the Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery are becoming part of a wider dementia friendly community due to a new Government funded initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society and supported by the University of Manchester as part of their commitment to social responsibility.
Having recently attended an Alzheimer’s Society-led training session in order to become a Dementia Friends Champion I am now able to invite staff from the two organisations to 50-minute information sessions, where they learn a bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and where to find further information.
At the end of the session attendees are asked if they are happy to commit to a positive action in the workplace or at home, and thus become a Dementia Friend. No action is too big or too small. From being more patient the next time somebody is struggling at the till at the supermarket to spreading the word about dementia on Twitter this all helps to create a more dementia friendly community.
By the end of the summer I hope that all staff within the Museum and Gallery can call themselves a Dementia Friend. The University of Manchester aims to recruit and train 30 Champions by the end of the 2014 academic year and 1000 Friends by August 2015.
Part of my remit as a Dementia Friends Champion is to run sessions beyond the Museum and Gallery, for anyone to attend. The first of these public sessions will run on Wednesday 23 July at 12pm in the Kanaris Lecture Theatre at Manchester Museum. To book a free place head here. To find upcoming public Dementia Friends sessions in your local area please click on this link.