A councillor has been nominated for a prestigious award for his work to help Wolverhampton become a Dementia Friendly City.

Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, has been shortlisted in the Age UK category at the LGiU and CCLA C'llr Achievement Awards 2014, which take place next month.

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.

And Councillor Evans has spearheaded work which has seen health and social care providers, local businesses, religious groups and other organisations pledge a commitment to create a city where people with dementia are better understood and offered the help and support they need.

The work began with 2 major conferences in the city attended by a wide range of organisations and has 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 professionals who care for people with dementia.

Three more dementia cafes have also been established in the city, bringing the total to 6. They provide an important chance for people 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 with dementia has been set up at Blakenhall Resource Centre, providing long and short stay beds and day services, while a specialist dementia ward has been established at New Cross Hospital with an outreach dementia team on hand to work across all wards.

More work is planned with Wolverhampton aiming to be named a Dementia Friendly Community by next year.

The LGiU and CCLA C'llr Achievement Awards aim to recognise councillors who show dedication to their communities and make positive changes to the lives of people locally.

Speaking after his nomination, Councillor Evans said: "I'm flattered to have been shortlisted but more importantly really proud that Wolverhampton has been recognised for its efforts in tackling and promoting dementia.

"None of this would have been possible without the efforts of the council's Older People's Commissioners Santosh Kumari and Steve Brotherton, and I would also like to say a big thank you to all our staff in Adult Social Care and our partners who have worked extremely hard to break down the barriers in what has traditionally been a difficult subject to tackle.

"There are around 3,000 people living with dementia in Wolverhampton and this figure is expected to reach 4,500 by 2030 - therefore 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 a wide range of individuals and organisations across Wolverhampton, who are making such a difference to the lives of people with dementia."

The Fallings Park councillor was nominated by Leader of the Council Roger Lawrence who said: "Councillor Evans is a passionate advocate on behalf of the elderly and adults with learning disabilities in the city.

"He is part of a dedicated team who are working tirelessly towards the aim of enabling Wolverhampton to become recognised as the first dementia friendly city.

"The ground breaking work he is spearheading in Wolverhampton demonstrates what local government, working in partnership with higher education, businesses, voluntary sector organisations and religious groups, can achieve at a community level."

The LGiU and CCLA C'llr Achievement Awards 2014 will be held on 25 February, 2014.

  • released: Friday 31 January, 2014