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100 up for Dementia Friends leader

Published Thursday 29 October 2015 at 11:48

A Blackburn with Darwen Council worker has excelled in providing support to a scheme that assists people to develop an understanding of dementia and help those living with it in Blackburn with Darwen.

Community Development Tutor, Lynette Bannister, has helped to create 100 Dementia Friends; people that are active in the community who are able to spot signs of dementia and offer support no matter how small.

The national Dementia Friends campaign was launched by Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society in May 2014 and is supported locally by Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen 50+ Partnership.

The scheme is about giving more people an understanding of dementia and the small things that could make a difference to people living with it.

Lynette said:

Since successfully passing the Dementia Champions training I have loved every minute of delivering the sessions to people in Blackburn with Darwen. I have learnt a great deal whilst sharing life experiences with people and personal stories about living with or caring for someone with dementia.

New figures show that between October 2014 and October 2015 the number of Dementia Friends in Blackburn with Darwen rose from 471 to 2,762 – an increase of 2,291 people.

The impressive increase in numbers has been attributed in part to a project launched locally to make communities in the borough dementia friendly and identify those with the condition early and support them from diagnosis to the stage of needing more care and support.

A dementia coordinator, Zoe Aldcroft, has been jointly commissioned by the Council and Blackburn with Darwen CCG via Age UK to support local organisations, businesses and groups to take steps to be more supportive of people with dementia and help co-ordinate developments in local health care and other services.

Zoe said:

Lynette’s help has been invaluable and I look forward to continuing to support her in the coming months to raise the awareness of dementia and continue to help create a dementia friendly Blackburn with Darwen.

Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

It’s fantastic to see all the hard work being done locally by Zoe, Lynette and others have such a tangible and positive impact. Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the country and I’d like to see as many people as possible continue to come forward to take the training and become Dementia Friends.

 The Dementia Friend training is free. For more information contact: Zoe Aldcroft, Dementia Strategy Coordinator for the Age Well Partnership on (01254) 266620.

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