Plymouth has won the Dementia Friendly (City of the year award) at the Alzheimers Society’s national awards in London.
Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth University and sixty organisations and businesses have been working together for the past five years, to make the city more dementia friendly.
Initiatives include Dementia friendly City Bus, Plymouth University, Stoke Damerel Community College, City College, Drake Circus, BBC Radio Devon, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth City Council, Veterans café, Memory services, Memory Matters, Police and Fire services, Singing for the Brain groups, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, plus car parking spaces, dementia awareness sessions for local organisations and businesses, and a Dementia Friendly Toolkit for organisations in Plymouth to support this programme. The award follows a visit to Plymouth from a group of journalists from Japan, who were keen to learn how Plymouth is implementing a dementia friendly approach. The University and City College have been commissioned to support medical students and staff in China on issues around dementia care.
At present, there are over 3,000 people with a diagnosis of dementia, living in Plymouth and this figure is predicted to rise to approximately 3,667 by 2020. The PDAA has an ever-growing membership of organisations from a wide variety of sectors across the city, such as: healthcare, emergency services, transport, education, defence, legal services, charities, faith groups etc. In the last few months, it has welcomed new members from the retail, finance, health and leisure sectors.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Hughes, said: “Dementia is the biggest health and social care issue facing our society and there’s no question that it has a profound and devastating impact for many – but the actions of Dementia Friendly Plymouth and others like them are helping to raise better awareness, break down stigma and make our communities more dementia friendly.
“What makes our winners so remarkable is the way they use their imagination, energy and enthusiasm to inspire others. Dementia Friendly Plymouth have gone that extra mile to make a bigger difference in their community for people with dementia and they will inspire others to follow their example in all walks of life.”
Ian Sherriff, chairman of the PDAA and Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at Plymouth University, said, “Winning this award is a fantastic accolade and is in recognition for all the hard work, energy and passion that the people with Dementia and their carers PDAA membership, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth University have put in over the past 5 years. This work has also been recognised by teams of public sector workers and academics from Japan, China, Italy and latterly, Holland.”
Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council, said: “As a council we are committed to working with our partners to help Plymouth to become a more Dementia Friendly city.
“We are absolutely delighted that Plymouth has won this award – this is recognition for every organisation in the city that has done their bit and agreed to become more Dementia Friendly.”
Dr Paul Hardy, GP and chair of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG western locality, said: “NEW Devon CCG is fully committed to Plymouth becoming a Dementia Friendly City and is delighted that the city’s hard work has been recognised on the national stage.
“It could not have been achieved unless everyone pulling together and playing a role and I am proud of our contribution in this team effort.”
If you would like to find out more about the Dementia Friendly work in Plymouth and how your organisation can get involved, contact the Dementia Friendly City Co-ordinator, Claire Puckey, on 01752 398922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also sign up to be a Dementia Friend. The Alzheimer’s Society aims to create 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020. For more information visit: www.dementiafriends.org.uk
Picture caption: Pictured above, left to right at the Dementia Friendly Awards are Angela Rippon, OBE, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Claire Puckey, Dementia Friendly City Coordinator for Plymouth City Council, Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council, Darren Stoneman, Senior Community Protection Officer for Plymouth City Council, Ian Sheriff, chairman of the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance, and Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at Plymouth University, Matt Baker from British Gas (who presented the award), and Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society.