Newport awarded Dementia Friendly City status
Posted on Wednesday 27th September 2017
Newport City Council is leading the way in raising awareness of dementia, developing support for people living with dementia and their carers, and encouraging dementia-friendly practices across the city.
In recognition, the Mayor of Newport, Councillor David Fouweather, formally accepted Dementia Friendly City accreditation from the Alzheimer’s Society, at a meeting of full Council.
Speaking of the award, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “Dementia is likely to touch us all at some point. We have been working closely with our partners and organisations across the city to raise awareness of this important issue and drive forward changes that will help create the support needed now and in the future.
“Members of One Newport, the city’s Public Service Board, have also come on board and recognise that by working together in a coordinated way, we can have much more impact.”
An ageing population presents new challenges and opportunities across many services. Dementia is a major concern with one in 14 people over 65 years of age reported to be living with the condition. The Alzheimer’s Society, within the National Dementia Vision for Wales, estimates that by 2021 the number of people with dementia across Wales will increase by 31per cent and by as much as 44 per cent in some rural areas.
Not only the person living with dementia is affected – it can also have a great impact on family members who take on a caring role for loved ones. All members of society will be touched at some point – if it is not immediate family, it will be extended family or friends.
In order to achieve the award the council had to meet seven criteria:
- Provide an effective partnership approach – One Newport has prioritised Dementia Friendly City across all areas of work.
- Champion dementia –Councillors Paul Cockeram and Kate Thomas are the elected member champions for the council.
- Provide awareness – Dementia Friends awareness sessions have been delivered to over 2,000 people.
- Listen to the views of people living with dementia – through the Alzheimer’s Society, the council has developed links with memory cafes across the city.
- Promote dementia awareness – the council have produced a number of newsletters and webpages for the public as well as support a new dementia website for the region.
- Focus on priorities – a local implementation group has been developed to take forward actions.
- Report progress – the council regularly reports back to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Over the last 12 months considerable progress has been made to raise awareness of dementia and encourage organisations to adopt dementia friendly practices and support people living with dementia and their carers:
- Gwent Police are training every police officer in Newport and introducing a new missing person protocol
- St Joseph’s RC High School are the first school in Wales to become Dementia Friendly
- A number of housing associations have received dementia accreditation
- All fire crews across the city are receiving Dementia Friends awareness
- Newport City Transport bus drivers and staff at Monmouthshire Building Society and Natwest Bank are receiving awareness training
- Newport AFC has become the first football league club in Wales to achieve the status.
Councillor Wilcox added: “This award is certainly not the end of our journey – there will always be ways to improve. This will continue to be a priority and will run through our wellbeing and corporate plans. We will also be rolling out an online Dementia Friends awareness programme so that all staff can become dementia aware, and Newport library service and Newport Live are also working towards the accreditation.”
Phil Diamond, dementia theme lead for the Gwent transformation team, said: “Newport Council and members of One Newport are shining the light across the city. They have made great headway in raising awareness of the needs of those affected by dementia and are positively encouraging other organisations and businesses to follow suit.”
For more information on becoming a dementia friend visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk
For more information on how you can reduce your risk of dementia visit www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/866/opendoc/266630
For more information on how you can get involved in your local area please contact firstname.lastname@example.org