Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance has won a National Dementia Friendly Award, recognising the efforts being made to make the city a welcoming place for people living with the condition.
The city's Alliance was the winner in the Dementia Friendly Community of the Year city or county category at this year's Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friendly Awards, which took place in London last week and was hosted by Ambassador Angela Rippon CBE.
The award recognises cities or counties which are leading the way in taking action to ensure that people affected by dementia are involved.
Over the last 12 months, Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance has inspired a wide range of organisations to take action to improve services for people living with dementia and sought the views of people affected by dementia to ensure that they are heard and included. They have also held a number of large scale events and celebrations that have received positive media coverage locally and regionally.
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Dementia is a debilitating condition which affects 3,400 people in Wolverhampton who are living with the disease, and also their families and carers.
"As a city, we are determined to do all we can to improve their lives as much as possible - and this award is a testament to how well the Dementia Action Alliance is working locally."
Jon Crockett, Chair of Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, said: "Excellent work has taken place to help Wolverhampton become a Dementia Friendly Community, and I would like to thank everyone - individuals and organisations big and small - for their fantastic contributions."
The council's Sue Eagle, who is co-ordinator of Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, said: "Wolverhampton Wanderers are now part of football's Premier League and we've had a long held ambition to become a Dementia Action Alliance with Premier League status. I feel that's what we've now achieved.
"This award recognises our hard work to help make life better for people of all ages who are affected by dementia, but there's a lot more to come - the message is clear, no matter how big or small your organisation, we can all do our bit."
Lee Allen, Alzheimer's Society Service Manager for the Black Country, said: "It is amazing that Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance has won this award and it is a testament to their tremendous dementia friendly work.
"We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer's Society for support, help and advice."
Help and support
A range of organisations offer help and support for people with dementia and their families and carers. They include:
- The Alzheimer's Society
- Dementia UK
- NHS Choices offers detailed information about the condition.
- In Wolverhampton, Dementia Cafes offer emotional support, information and the opportunity for people living with the impact of dementia to talk about their situation.
Improving dementia services in Wolverhampton
Already a great deal of good work has taken place locally to improve the lives of people with dementia and their families.
Businesses, organisations, community groups and individuals have come together as Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance to support the city's drive to become a Dementia Friendly Community, creating a city in which people with dementia receive the help and support they need to live their lives to the full.
But there is much more to be done, and to develop this good work further, a number of organisations including Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, Wolverhampton City Council, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have come together to shape a Joint Dementia Strategy, which will be published shortly.
The strategy will set out the work which will take place over the next two years to bring about further improvements in care and support for people with dementia, and is based upon what local residents say they need from services in Wolverhampton.
Becoming dementia aware
Nationally, more than one million people have signed up to become Dementia Friends through the Alzheimer's Society, and in doing so have developed a greater understanding of dementia, and what can be done to help people who are living with the condition. Anyone can do this - please visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk for more details.
Wolverhampton's Dementia Cafes are a monthly meeting for people with dementia or memory loss, their families and friends.
The Alzheimer's Society, in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, organises free Dementia Cafes for people living with dementia and their carers.
Dementia cafés offer a place where people living at home with diagnosed dementia, their friends and carers can meet for informal support. Cafes provide a welcoming environment where everyone understands the challenges of the condition or caring for someone who is living with it. The group is run by Alzheimer's Society trained Staff and Volunteers; there is usually a talk on a relevant subject, interesting activities and information on local services. Drinks and biscuits are provided. The groups are very informal and friendly and we welcome new people. The cafes do not provide personal care or act as a 'drop-off' service for carers.
For further information please contact Alzheimer's Society, Castlemill, Burnt Tree, Dudley, DY4 7UF Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 0121 521 3020.
Wolverhampton Dementia Cafes:
Where: Linden House, Tettenhall Road, WV6 0DD
When: 1st Tuesday of the month
Time: 10am - 12pm
Where: Wednesfield Community Centre, Well Lane, Wednesfield, WV11 1XT
When: 2nd Tuesday of the month
Where: Wolverhampton Street, Bilston, WV14 0LT
When: 1st Friday of the month
Time: 2pm- 4pm