Age UK Northamptonshire volunteer backs campaign to increase awareness of dementia

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A campaign to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around dementia has got the support of a Northamptonshire volunteer.

Jillian Powell, of Age UK Northamptonshire has delivered free ‘Dementia Friends’ information sessions during 2014-15 to more than 1000 people in the county.

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

There are now a million Dementia Friends with the know-how to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their community.

There are currently 685,000 people living with the condition in England.

Having volunteered to be a Dementia Friends Champion, Jillian is now delivering Dementia Friends sessions to people across Northamponshire.

She said: “I signed up to be a Dementia Friends Champion because I understood the need for a helping hand being offered to assist someone living with dementia. It’s easy to get involved. I attended a training course, receive ongoing support and I’m now proud to be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.”

Becky Haines, Dementia Friends regional support officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the country. Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion.

“It’s all about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.”

Anyone wanting to attend the Dementia Friends session should contact Jillian on 01604 611200. People can also get involved in Dementia Friends through an online video. Go to dementiafriends.org.uk to find out more.

Dementia Friends is a joint initiative with Public Health England funded by the Cabinet Office and Department of Health which helps people to understand a bit more about dementia and the little ways they can help.