Tamworth has been congratulated for maintaining its Dementia Friendly Community status by the Alzheimer’s Society.
Although the achievement marks the culmination of the past three years of hard work by the borough council, community groups, local organisations and businesses, the designation is only the beginning.
The ultimate aim of Dementia Friendly Communities is to help people living with dementia, and their carers, to feel safe, supported and involved in community life. This includes raised awareness and understanding, and improved services across all sectors.
A great deal of progress has already been made as part of the process to achieve and maintain a dementia friendly status, resulting in more than 5,500 Dementia Friends since it was established in January 2017.
- The creation of the Tamworth Dementia Friendly Communities Group – a partnership of stakeholders working together to improve the lives of local people with dementia. The Tamworth DFC members include Tamworth Borough Council, the police, fire service, health care services and providers, community groups and businesses.
- The roll out of Dementia Friends awareness sessions to Tamworth councillors, Tamworth Borough Council staff members, businesses, organisations and community groups in the area. Sessions have been delivered by local Dementia Friends Champions and Tamworth’s Community Together CIC.
- More work to engage with people living with dementia and their carers to find out how their lives could be improved locally.
- The established ‘Memory Café’, led by Tamworth DFC member Home Instead Senior Care. The café opened originally at St John’s Church, in conjunction with the Heart of Tamworth Community Project, in May 2017, for people with dementia and their carers. It is now situated at The Sacred Heart Church in Glascote.
- Ensuring that all Tamworth Borough Council services are accessible to people with dementia, from paying a bill to attending a show. This includes text reminders for payments, appointments and bin collections.
- The inclusion of National Dementia Awareness Week into the town’s Events Calendar, which annually includes a number of workshops and events (online for 2020 due to the pandemic) to raise awareness about dementia.
As a dementia friendly town, there has also be more information and signposting, including greater online resources. More information is listed on the Dementia Action Alliance web page.
Change locally has been led by the Tamworth Dementia Friendly Communities (TDFC) – a group of organisations, authorities, businesses and schools working together to ensure Tamworth is a town in which people living with dementia feel safe and supported, with access to the services they need.
Through the Tamworth DFC, the town has hosted various events, such as memory cafés, a singing group and support groups, a twiddle muff campaign, the creation of a dementia friendly sensory garden in the Castle Grounds and takes part in an annual week of action to raise awareness and money for dementia services. All face to face events will return as soon as the pandemic crisis has eased.
Chairman of Tamworth Dementia Friendly Communities, John Edwards, said: “It is wonderful to see our town maintain its Dementia Friendly status and that many people are helping to make life better for those living with dementia and their carers.
“The response from the people of Tamworth to the work of Tamworth DFC has been fantastic. Please get in touch via the website if you would like to get involved: Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance website, or www.tamworth.gov.uk/dementia-friendly.”