COMMUNITY MILESTONE:  Pictured are Harrowells’ senior solicitor, Sally Edwards, with Alzheimer’s S

Member Article

Harrowells helps York move towards Dementia Friendly Community

MORE than 100 staff at businesses and organisations in York have become Dementia Friends in the latest milestone to help the city become a Dementia Friendly Community.

The 105 staff have attended awareness sessions at City of York Council, BHS, Coney Street, and North and East Yorkshire law firm, Harrowells.

The Dementia Friends sessions were run by a senior solicitor in Harrowells’ Private Client Department, Sally Edwards, an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Champion who provides free Information Sessions to spread awareness of the condition and its impact on individuals and their families.

Sally has provided 18 free sessions which encourage discussion about delegates’ perception of dementia and educate them through various activities. Delegates are also asked if they could become a Dementia Friend and help those living with the condition.

Sally Edwards success was announced to coincide with a Dementia Friends event at All Saints’ Church, Pavement, York, on Wednesday (May 18) as part of Dementia Awareness Week during which she was given a special certificate by Dementia Friends regional support officer, Hannah Chivers.

The event, which included a 45-minute, interactive Dementia Friends Information Session, was part of the Alzheimer’s Society’s awareness campaign which also highlighted local services available to support people living with dementia and their carers. Alzheimer’s Society representatives also took part in singing sessions accompanied by Minster Ukes, and were joined by members of Dementia Forward and Older Citizens Advocacy York, to offer information and advice.

Sally Edwards says: “Two factors have underlined the importance of Dementia Friends for me. One is that my grandmother passed away aged 90 in April. She had lived with dementia during the last few years of her life and was cared for by my grandfather who is now aged 92.

“I would also like York to become a community where people living with dementia feel supported. This is one of the most visited cities in the UK and becoming a Dementia Friendly Community will make York inclusive for all those who come here.”

Latest figures show that more than 11,000 people in York and North Yorkshire have dementia and this is expected to rise to 16,000 in the next decade.

Hannah Chivers says: “It’s great that Sally has enjoyed the role, delivered so many Information Sessions while working full time and has created more than 100 Dementia Friends. The initiative is all about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with it.”

Dementia Awareness Week is Alzheimer’s Society’s annual flagship awareness-raising campaign. Dementia Friends, which aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn this into action, was launched in February 2013.

Since then, more than 1.5 million people have become Dementia Friends across the country and 15,000 new ones were created nationally in Dementia Awareness Week 2015.

Harrowells Solicitors, which offers a wide range of private and commercial legal services, including specialist legal advice relating to health and welfare for older people and their families, has three offices in York and others in Thirsk, Easingwold and Pocklington.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Mike Clarke .

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