The council is in the running to be named Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year at the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards, an annual celebration of the achievements of individuals and organisations in creating dementia-friendly communities around the UK.
The nomination recognises the efforts of the council, its partners and members of the Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance in making the city as welcoming and supportive as possible to people with dementia, and to giving them and their carers more choice and control over their lives.
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Dementia is a debilitating condition which affects nearly a million people in the UK, including 3,600 residents in Wolverhampton.
“The council and its partners are determined to make Wolverhampton as dementia-friendly as possible, not only improving the lives of people with dementia, but also the lives of their families and carers.
“This nomination is recognition of the fantastic work which is underway in Wolverhampton to achieve our ambitions.”
The council has long been committed to improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers, being one of the first signatories to former Prime Minster David Cameron’s appeal to create Dementia Friendly Communities in 2012.
Members of the council’s Cabinet were the first in the country to become Dementia Friends, while council employees undertake mandatory dementia awareness courses and have also been invited to become Dementia Friends.
A Joint Dementia Strategy, based upon what residents say they need from local services, has been developed by the council and Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, while the council and the Dementia Action Alliance are working closely with organisations in the city – from banks to retailers and faith groups – to enable them to make their services as flexible and responsive as possible to people living with dementia.
The city also has a network of very popular Dementia Cafes, commissioned by the council and delivered by the Alzheimer’s Society, which meet regularly at venues around the city and offer help and support to people living with dementia.
Meanwhile the council has worked with the University of Wolverhampton to develop high tech “smart posters”, which can be found in locations around Wolverhampton and enable people to get easy access to information, advice and other online content by scanning the posters with their mobile phones.
The nomination also reflects the way the city came together to mark Dementia Awareness Week in May, with a wide range of events including a charity football match at Molineux organised by Wolverhampton-based JJX Logistics, a Denim for Dementia fundraising day, drop-in advice sessions, activities in residential care homes, a vintage tea dance and even a fundraising charity car wash at Fallings Park Fire Station.
The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards recognise the part that everyone has to play in creating safe, friendly and supportive communities for people with dementia, from volunteers and carers to hairdressers and hospitals, schools and sports clubs to community groups and corporations.
Wolverhampton is up against County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and East of England Co-Op in the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year, Private and Public (Large) category, sponsored by Rowlands Pharmacy. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 30 November 2016.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer for Alzheimer’s Society said: “This is our biggest and best ever Dementia Friendly Awards with a record number of nominations and a number of new awards this year.
“The variety and quality of submissions really demonstrate the success and commitment across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to build Dementia Friendly Communities which bring about positive change for people affected by dementia at a local level. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck.”
For more information about the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards, please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiafriendlyawards. To find out more about the help and support available in Wolverhampton, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/dementia.