Wolverhampton collected a Judges Special Mention award at the 2014 LGiU and CCLA C'llr Achievement Awards for the work taking place to create a city where people living with dementia are better understood and offered the help and support they need.
Wolverhampton City Council took up the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia, calling for the development of a number of Dementia Friendly Communities around the country, in 2012. Since then, health and social care providers, local businesses, religious groups and other organisations have worked tirelessly to improve services for people living with dementia.
The work has been spearheaded by Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, who was nominated in the Age UK category at the ceremony held in London last night (Tuesday 25 February, 2014).
He said: "I am really pleased that the judges saw fit to recognise the hard work that is taking place in Wolverhampton to make things easier for people living with dementia.
"I'd like to pay tribute not only to our staff but also all the health and social care providers, businesses and other organisations who have been, and continue to be, an integral part of our efforts to make Wolverhampton a Dementia Friendly Community - this award is for all of them."
Efforts to make Wolverhampton more dementia friendly began with two major conferences in the city attended by a wide range of organisations. It led to a number of measures being introduced, including the development of an extensive dementia training programme for health professionals and other staff and specialist person centred training to create 80 "dementia champions" among people who support those living with dementia.
Three more dementia cafes were also established in the city, bringing the total to 6. They provide an important chance for people living with dementia and their carers to meet, share their experiences and find out about the help and support available to them.
Meanwhile, a dedicated facility for people living with dementia has been set up at Blakenhall Resource Centre, providing long and short stay beds and day services, while New Cross Hospital has a specialist dementia ward and an outreach dementia team which works across all wards.
With Wolverhampton aiming to be named a Dementia Friendly Community by next year, more work is planned over the coming months - including the launch of a new forum in April which will bring together organisations wishing to become dementia friendly into one recognised group.
Councillor Evans added: "There are around 3,000 people living with dementia in Wolverhampton and this figure is expected to reach 4,500 by 2030, so it is vital that we as a city support people living with dementia and recognise their needs.
"I'm really pleased with the work we've done so far and the commitment we've seen from individuals and organisations to make such a difference to the lives of people living with dementia."
- released: Wednesday 26 February, 2014