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Grantham Pets at Home colleagues to be trained in Dementia Awareness

By KentOnline reporter

Pets at Home Grantham is working with Alzheimer’s Society to make shopping a more comfortable experience for customers with dementia to coincide with Dementia Action Week this week.

More than 13,400 Pets at Home, Groom Room and Vets4Pets colleagues in all 440 plus stores, including the support office and distribution centres, are to become Dementia Friends through Alzheimer’s Society’s programme.

Pets at Home, Sankt Augustin Way, Grantham, has partnered with the UK’s leading dementia charity to improve the instore experience for customers living with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia, and aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about this condition.

All Pets at Home, Groom Room, and Vets4Pets, colleagues at the Grantham store will become Dementia Friends to help better assist customers who may be living with dementia, and will have the knowledge and confidence to approach and help customers who are shopping by themselves or with a loved one.

This has been rolled out nationwide following one employee’s personal experience with the condition.

Mike Carey, 37, deputy manager at the Pets at Home store in Foss Island, York, recommended the initiative following his mother’s diagnosis at just 56 years old.

Mike became a Dementia Friend independently, aiming to raise awareness amongst his immediate colleagues and, if possible, further afield within Yorkshire’s Pets at Home stores. His regional manager recognised the importance of the initiative, and following approval from senior members of the business, the programme is now being implemented nationwide.

Mike said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with the rollout of the Dementia Friends programme throughout the business, and I hope the scheme will make a big difference to our customers and colleagues.

“In becoming Dementia Friends, Pets at Home colleagues will be able to recognise when people may be struggling with dementia type symptoms so that they can make shopping an easier, more pleasurable and more importantly an accessible experience for customers who may have this condition.”

Store manager, Vicky Martin, says: “Our teams always do their best to offer friendly expertise and advice to customers.

“Following the Dementia Friends training, our team will be confident in recognising the signs of the condition, and we really hope that customers and families who are affected by dementia will feel welcomed and comfortable whilst shopping in our store.”

Claire Jenkins, Head of Community Engagement at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

“It’s fantastic that Pets at Home has committed to the action of supporting their colleagues to become Dementia Friends and it’s a perfect way to mark Dementia Action Week. We hope this encourages other retailers in the UK to do the same."

Over 2.4million people in the UK have become Dementia Friends since the launch of the initiative. To find out more about Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends and get involved in Dementia Action Week, please visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW


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