Award launched to help businesses become ‘dementia friendly’ for customers

News Page 11th January 2018

Northamptonshire businesses can win free, full-time support to help them recognise and help customers with dementia through a University of Northampton competition.

The Dementia Friendly Business Award is open now to any Northamptonshire organisation, public or private, who want to improve the experiences of people with dementia and their carers.

The winning organisation will receive the services of a full-time intern for a 10 week period, for free, to help develop their vision to become ‘dementia friendly’.

The intern’s placement is co-funded by the University of Northampton’s ‘Changemaker’ initiative and sponsor Santander Bank. Changemaker projects focus on finding solutions to environmental or social problems to improve people’s lives.

In the UK there are over 850,000 people diagnosed with dementia. In Northamptonshire alone it is expected that 12,000 people will be living with a diagnosis of dementia by 2025.

In a dementia-friendly community, people living with dementia feel supported by community members, whether at the post office, retail outlets, using transportation or enjoying hobbies out in the community.

Community members can help people living with dementia and their carers by reducing anxiety, stigma or frustration.

Jacqueline Parkes, Professor in Applied Mental Health at the University of Northampton, said: “As the number of people diagnosed with dementia increases, it’s in the best interests of local business and community services to meet their requirements. Our Dementia Friendly Organisation Awards are a great chance for forward thinking local organisations to place themselves ahead of the competition in recognising customer needs.”

Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Society at the University of Northampton, added: “We are delighted to support this important initiative, which is high on the agenda for the university’s social impact work and forms part of a number of initiatives with the health and social care community.”

Applicants for the competition need to complete an application form explaining how your vision can improve the experiences of people with dementia by the hosting organisation and provide supporting information about their plan to achieve this.

The deadline for applications is 5pm 28 February. Application forms can be requested from: ruth.hughes-rowlands2@northampton.ac.uk

The brochure for the awards with further information can be found online.

The University of Northampton is working with a number of partner organisations to help make the town and county more dementia friendly.

Projects include the creation of the new post-diagnostic support Centre, The UnityDEM Centre for people with dementia and their carers, which is due to open later this year.

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