Making Ipswich a dementia friendly town

POSTED ON: 11/10/2016

Making Ipswich a dementia friendly town

By Minnie Moll
East of England Co-op

Earlier this year, I was honoured to be announced as His Royal Highness Ambassador for Responsible Business in East Anglia. I’m extremely proud to stand alongside other strong Ambassadors chosen for their leadership in transforming business. As part of this role, I feel it’s important to recognise and support local initiatives.

Back in 2014, at the East of England Co-op, we made a pledge to become a Dementia Friendly Retailer. Since then, we have been training our colleagues as dementia friends and now have over 3,500 who have completed the training. This award winning training initiative has been warmly received, allowing colleagues to get a real understanding about how dementia affects individuals.

With over 50,000 living in the our trading area of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex with dementia*, we felt that we needed to educate the people who would be serving them on a daily basis, so we can help meet their needs and provide them with a shopping experience that wasn’t daunting or frightening.

With the success of this training, we turned to look at what else we could do in the local community to spread the importance of dementia awareness. This leads onto our involvement in the campaign to make Ipswich dementia friendly and our collaborative working with Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance (IDAA).

Around 1,600 people live in Ipswich with the disease and it’s likely that we all know somebody who has been affected by it. Dementia isn’t just about forgetting your telephone number or the name of your next door neighbour, it’s a disease caused by changes to the structure and chemistry of a person’s brain. I’m really passionate about working co-operatively with other businesses and organisations to make sure the local community has all of the information and resources it needs to learn about dementia.

The Dementia Awareness Campaign (8th to 15th October) has given us the starting point to do this. We’re taking that first important step in becoming a dementia friendly town and want you to take it with us.

Take a pledge to help make Ipswich a dementia friendly town here: www.eastofengland.coop/dementiafriendlyipswich

Photo caption- Nicola Bradford - Chair of Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance, Councillor Roger Fern - Mayor of Ipswich, Ellie Griss, Minnie Moll – Joint Chief Executive of East of England at the launch of Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance earlier this year.

*Alzheimer’s Society

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