Volunteer Stuart Gibbon has been delivering Dementia Friends sessions for two years. With a background in policing, he wanted to ‘give something back to the community’.
After setting himself up as a consultant delivering informal safety talks and advising older and vulnerable people on all aspects of safety in and out of the home, including bank scams and safe use of bank cards, he wanted to branch out further and joined the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) in 2015.
The Journal caught up with Stuart just as he had just finished delivering a Dementia Friends session to staff at Robert Holland Funeral Directors, in St Catherine’s Road.
We are aware of Dementia Friends but what is the Dementia Action Alliance?
South West Lincolnshire (SWL) Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) is a group of individuals and organisations who are trying to improve the lives of people living with dementia by taking steps to make our communities dementia-friendly. There are currently 344 local DAAs in England, with eight located in Lincolnshire. Since SWL DAA was launched in November 2015, they have several members in Grantham including Chatterton Solicitors, Halifax bank, Grantham Volunteer Dementia Support and, following the session this morning, Robert Holland Funeral Directors. Members have access to resources and advice, can attend meetings, have a free Dementia Friends session to raise awarenes amongst their staff and we will also look to see if they need to make any environmental changes. We meet quarterly to discuss progress.
What is a dementia-friendly town?
SWL DAA has recently been successful in their community application to be recognised as ‘working to become dementia-friendly 2017-18’. In the short term, the alliance will be focusing on the Grantham area. Our main aim is to make Grantham work towards becoming more of a ‘dementia-friendly’ town where people living with dementia can be fully involved in a community who supports them to lead an active, independent life.
How can an individual or organisation help?
We are trying to identify businesses, shops and other organisations who provide an excellent service, which is dementia-friendly. This could be anywhere from your local hairdressers or cafe to a large supermarket. We would like to hear from anyone who feels that they have received a good dementia-friendly service in the town. This could be anything from the way they were treated to the service provided in a cafe, supermarket, bank or any other service provider. We would like to support them in what they do. Alternatively we would still like to hear about any particular service which needs to be improved to make it more dementia-friendly.
n For more information on booking a session or joining the DAA, contact secretary Richard Harding on 07833 048245, email email@example.com or visit www.dementiaaction.org.uk