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Businesses sign up to raise dementia awareness in Skipton and South Craven

Local businesses and organisations are pledging to make their services more dementia friendly after attending an event at Craven District Council.

An event to raise awareness of dementia in Skipton and South Craven was held at Belle Vue Mills, Skipton, last month.

Hazel Foster, a patient with dementia, was filmed talking about living with the condition, and there were also presentations from Steve Pool, head of the Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, and Councillor Chris Moorby, Chairman of Craven District Council

Businesses including Skipton Building Society attended the event and were very keen to learn more about how their organisations could be more dementia-friendly.

Jacqui Bateson, Senior Proposition Manager at Skipton Building Society said: "At Skipton, we know that dementia is a growing social issue and we absolutely believe that life does not stop when dementia starts.

"We want to make sure we're doing all we can to support people living with dementia, and all of the people connected to them - whether they are customers or our own colleagues. Given so many people are affected by dementia, our Skipton colleagues recently chose Alzheimer's UK as our charity of the year. And the event in Skipton was a great way to understand more about what we can do and how we can help."

The Alzheimer's Society, Dementia Action Alliance, Dementia Friends, Making Space, Pioneer Projects, Carers' Resource and Dyneley House Surgery all attended the sessions.

Antony Radley, practice manager at Dyneley House Surgery in Skipton said: "This was a great opportunity for local businesses to find out more about dementia and we're delighted so many people attended. 

"By joining the Dementia Action Alliance, businesses will receive support and practical help to make their environment or services more dementia friendly.

"Sometimes taking small steps can significantly improve the lives of people living with dementia."

Craven District Council is working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Authority, and has already delivered Dementia Friends training to some frontline staff. The Skipton Town Hall rebrand and development is also taking into account dementia friendly guidelines.

Councillor Linda Brockbrank, Craven District Council's lead member for Working with Communities, said: "We believe it's important to play our part in improving the lives of people with dementia and we would urge other organisations in the district to join us. This is a growing issue in our district and we all need to help create a better society for people living with dementia and those who care about them."

Skipton and South Craven are in the process of setting up a local Dementia Action Alliance, similar to the group set up in North Craven by Age UK. A steering group has been set up with representations from dementia groups and North Yorkshire County Council as well as Craven District Council and Dyneley House Surgery.

A Local Dementia Action Alliance brings together regional and local members to improve the lives of people with dementia in their area. They are seen as the local vehicle to develop dementia friendly communities.

A Local Alliance can be established at any level, be it a village, city, county or even a region. They can overlap geographically and member organisations are encouraged to participate in more than one. There are currently 299 local alliances across the UK and this number is growing all the time.

To become a member of a local alliance organisations need to sign up to the National Dementia Declaration and submit a short action plan setting out how they are delivering the outcomes described in the Declaration. This plan is then published on the DAA website.

If you were unable to attend the event but would like more information, please email Antony Radley at the DAA on antony.radley@gp-B82053.nhs.uk