Hartlepool Borough Council vows to help people with dementia

From left, The Reverend Cath Thompson, of the Church of the Nazarene, who led the service which was hosted by Headland Baptist Church, Councillor Stephen Thomas, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Councils Adult and Community Based Services Committee, and Caroline Ryder-Jones, from Dementia-Friendly Hartlepool, at a Dementia Friendly Harvest Festival.
From left, The Reverend Cath Thompson, of the Church of the Nazarene, who led the service which was hosted by Headland Baptist Church, Councillor Stephen Thomas, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Councils Adult and Community Based Services Committee, and Caroline Ryder-Jones, from Dementia-Friendly Hartlepool, at a Dementia Friendly Harvest Festival.

Hartlepool Borough Council has committed to working towards becoming a dementia-friendly organisation.

It was given the official accreditation by Dementia Friendly Hartlepool, an organisation working towards helping people living with dementia to feel valued and included within their local community.

The council has committed to a series of actions in order to be named ‘dementia friendly’, including plans to support over 300 staff to become Dementia Friends, and to build dementia friendly training into the mandatory induction programme for new employees.

Councillor Stephen Thomas, chairman of the council’s Adult and Community Based Services Committee, said: “As a council, we are delighted to have received this accreditation.

“Staff across the organisation are continually working hard to ensure those in the town living with a dementia diagnosis feel listened to, supported, respected and understood by their Council, and this accreditation rightly recognises that hard work.

“To further raise awareness, we ran a Dementia Friends session at our November Adult and Community Based Services Committee, becoming the first Hartlepool Borough Council committee to do so. We hope this will encourage others to follow suit.”

Caroline Ryder-Jones, from Dementia-Friendly Hartlepool, added: “It is excellent to see the council pledging its commitment to raising awareness and supporting those in the town living well with dementia, and we look forward to seeing our partnership further develop.

“The more local businesses and organisations that pledge to understand the challenges faced by those living with dementia at a local level, the better it will be for everyone.”

Last year, Hartlepool was nominated for the Dementia Friendly Community of the Year at the Alzheimer's Society Awards in London, recognising the local combined efforts of charity Dementia Friendly Hartlepool and The Hospital of God.

The Hospital of God at Greatham offers a local dementia support service through The Bridge, based at the Gemini Centre in Hartlepool town centre. For more information about The Bridge and its services, call 01429 868587 or visitwww.thehospitalofgod.co.uk.

For more information about the Dementia Friends initiative, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-friendly-communities