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Volunteer’s Week 1st-7th June 2020 – Being a Dementia Friends Champion

Jun 03, 2020

Volunteer's Week 2020

This week is #volunteers week and to mark the occasion we thought we’d share some details of the volunteering that some of our wonderful staff do for Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative to change people’s perceptions and understanding around Dementia.

“Dementia is one of the greatest challenges we face in society today. All businesses can contribute to tackling the social and economic impact of dementia.

Statistics show that less than half (47%) of people living with dementia feel a part of their community (Alzheimer’s Society, 2013), and 28% said they have given up even getting out of the house.” - dementiafriends.org.uk

A dementia friendly organisation

Here at PPP Taking Care we are working towards becoming a dementia friendly organisation, and part of that work includes providing dementia information sessions to staff and providing support for customers, staff and carers who may be affected by dementia. We hold regular sessions so that everyone who works for us can become ‘Dementia Friends’. Staff members then also have the opportunity to volunteer as ‘Dementia Friends Champions’ if they would like to extend their commitment to helping those with dementia.

A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help.

Two of our staff members tell us a bit more about what volunteering as Dementia Friends Champions means to them.

Ashley Roberts – Sales executive

I decided to become a Dementia Friends Champion as my Nan is living with dementia. I feel it’s important as it means I gets to spread awareness and understanding about what is often a very misunderstood illness. I hope that the more people that know about dementia, the better life will become for those that live with it.

I really enjoy volunteering and there’s no pressure to deliver lots and lots of sessions all the time, but each session is only 45 minutes- 1 hr, and so it’s easy to commit to giving a couple of sessions a month.

As a volunteer, I deliver information sessions to other staff members at PPP Taking Care, but I also visit other businesses and sites and provide information to the wider community too. The more people that know about what it means to have dementia and how they can help, the better.

The biggest thing I’ve learned since becoming a Dementia Friends Champion is that even though people with dementia may not remember an event or experience, they do actually still feel the emotions that relate to that experience. That’s why it’s important to make sure that those with the condition still have the opportunity to have nice days out, family visits, and positive experiences because even if they may not remember any of the details, it can still help them to feel good.

 

Sam Rabone - Operational trainer

Sam Rabone – Operational trainer 

I started volunteering as we get a lot of calls come through to us from people living with dementia, as well as their family members and carers. I felt like it was important to understand how to help in the best way I could and to be able to provide a level of support that they may not get anywhere else. I am also a volunteer for some other organisations and I love being able to contribute to my community.

Like Ashley, I also deliver Information Sessions within the business and in the community. Recently I delivered a session for a domiciliary care company, which was really interesting. I find that these sessions are often very eye opening, even for people who have some experience or knowledge of dementia. The thing is that no two people with dementia will present the same kind of symptoms or have the same kinds of difficulties and so that can make it a bit of a challenge for people to recognise and understand.

The biggest thing I’ve learned since becoming a Dementia Friends Champion is that many people don’t know the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s and that there are still a lot of misconceptions about what it means to have dementia. I find seeing people’s reactions to learning something new about the condition is very rewarding and I’m really proud to be a Dementia Champion.

Thank you

PPP Taking Care is really proud of our team and the hard work that they do here. A number of our staff volunteer for Dementia Friends as well as other organisations and we think this is testament to the kindness and caring nature of the people that work here. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who is a volunteer in some capacity and who helps to positively contribute to their community.

 

If you would like to find out more about Dementia Friends or find out about information sessions that are happening locally, visit: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

Find out more about the Alzheimer’s Association here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

 

 

#Dementia #PPP Taking Care

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