Nearly 20 local organisations reaffirmed their commitment to making a real difference for people with dementia when they took part in a special forum in Wolverhampton.

The city is bidding to become one of the first Dementia Friendly Communities in the country and has been officially recognised by Alzheimer's Society as working towards that goal.

As part of this, Wolverhampton City Council organised the inaugural Dementia Action Alliance Forum earlier this month - bringing together a range of local organisations which want to become more dementia friendly, including businesses, emergency services, religious groups and education providers.

The Dementia Action Alliance, which is open to all organisations operating in Wolverhampton, will meet regularly and support organisations to improve services for people living with dementia.

Sarah Norman, Wolverhampton City Council's Strategic Director for Community, said: "There can hardly be a family who isn't in some way touched by dementia, and it is important that organisations across Wolverhampton work together to improve the lives and outcomes of people coping with what can be a very debilitating illness.

"The Dementia Action Alliance is about how we make our commitment to Wolverhampton becoming a Dementia Friendly Community tangible and really make a difference to people's lives.

"The organisations involved all have an impact on the lives of people with dementia in one way or another and all have an important role to play in making Wolverhampton a place which is both much more responsive to the needs of people with dementia, and also much more supportive of people with dementia."

Jeevan Jones, Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Action Alliance Coordinator for the West Midlands, added: "We are happy to recognise Wolverhampton as working to become a dementia friendly city and welcome them onto Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friendly Communities programme.

"By signing up to the Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, local organisations can work together to make a real difference for people with dementia in their community."

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 the 3,000 or so people living with dementia in the city.

Practical measures which have already been put in place locally include the development of an extensive dementia training programme for health professionals and other staff and 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 six and providing 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.

The next meeting of the Dementia Action Alliance will be held in July. Organisations which want to find out more about the Alliance or Wolverhampton's bid to become a Dementia Friendly Community are invited to call Santosh Kumari on 01902 555369 or e-mail

  • released: Monday 28 April, 2014