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Your spotlight on local services

Healthwatch BwD to increase dementia awareness in the community


Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen aims to increase dementia awareness in our community

A campaign to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around dementia has got the support of Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen

Sharon Hardman, Enter and View and Volunteer Coordinator will be running free ‘Dementia Friends’ Information Sessions for all Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen volunteers.

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 thinks, talks and acts about the condition.

Dementia Friends is 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.

There are currently 850,000 people living with the condition in England.

Having been trained as Dementia Friends Champion, Sharon Hardman will now be delivering Dementia Friends Sessions to Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen volunteers.  She said:

‘I signed up to be a Dementia Friends Champion because one small action can make a big difference to someone with dementia and it is important to encourage everyone to make a positive difference to people 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. We need to create more communities and businesses that are dementia friendly so that people affected by dementia feel understood and included.’

Andy Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch BwD said: “As a Healthwatch we want to ensure people get the support that they need. We would urge people to get in touch with us if they would like to find out more. We are committed to improving the lives of people throughout the borough and this is one of the many ways in which we intend to do so.”

Tess Dawson, 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 getting in touch with someone you know living with dementia to wearing your badge with pride, every action counts.’

Anyone interested in volunteering at Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen and wanting to attend a Dementia Friends Session should contact Sharon Hardman at sharonhardman@healthwatchbwd.co.uk or telephone 01254 296080 or please view our website at  http://www.healthwatchblackburnwithdarwen.co.uk/volunteer.