Woodfield pioneer dementia support

By Ian Dipple Friday 18 July 2014 Updated: 18/07 10:02

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Buy photos » Pupils Regan Lowe, Sarnya Hussain, Harvey Statham and Amy Smith celebrate becoming Dementia Friends with (Front) Sandy Hunt, Redditch Friends Together Group, Mayor Pat Witherspoon and Pat Isherwood, Redditch Friends Together Group. Picture by Alex Bradbury 2914021ABR

A BOROUGH school has become the first in Worcestershire and one of only two in the country to become dementia friendly.

Pupils and staff at Woodfield Academy signed up to become Dementia Friends as part of a special assembly on Tuesday (July 15).

In total 600 students from the Studley Road based school made the pledge by taking part in a range of activities aimed at increasing their understanding of the condition. To mark their commitment they were presented with a special badge.

Dementia Friends was launched by the Alzheimer's Society in February last year and is aimed at helping people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.

The Redditch Friends Together Group is also aiming to make Redditch one of the first Dementia Friendly towns in the country by getting businesses and residents to sign up to the pledge.

Jenna Partridge, assistant head at Woodfield Academy, said: "Dementia Friends is an amazing initiative to help families and people with dementia by offering a little extra support. The condition is becoming more common with lots of families knowing of somebody with the condition - the Dementia Friends programme allows everyone to be involved.

"Being one of the first schools in the UK to embrace Dementia Friends in this way is a real privilege and Woodfield are very proud of the chance to be involved. It will also allow our pupils to be aware and supportive of people within their community. I really hope that all the students who take part will use what they learn to make a difference – big or small – to the lives of people living with dementia in their community."

Kumbi Mandinyenya, operations manager for the Alzheimer’s Society in Worcestershire, added: "Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn’t about creating experts, it’s about helping people understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend."

Companies, schools and colleges interested in becoming Dementia Friends should visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk for more information.

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