Pledge to do more for dementia sufferers in Jarrow

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn celebrates the town's Dementia Friendly status.
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn celebrates the town's Dementia Friendly status.

Jarrow has become the latest area of South Tyneside to sign up to a pledge to improve the lives of people with dementia.

For the past nine months business, organisations and individuals living in the town have taken part in dementia-friendly awareness sessions.

The project aims to help people to be more aware of and understand the condition.

It is the second area of the borough to achieve dementia-friendly status following on from Hebburn.

A dementia-friendly community is any city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported – and feel confident they can contribute to community life.

Venues where staff undergo training will then be able to display a Forget-Me-Knot symbol – this is a symbol to highlight the venue is a place where people with dementia can go and receive help if they become lost or confused while out and about.

To mark the occasion, an event was held at Jarrow Town Hall which was attended by the area’s MP Stephen Hepburn.

Mark Overton, volunteer and South Tyneside Dementia champion said: “Stephen Hepburn has been a massive supporter of what we are doing.

“All of his staff have been trained in being dementia friendly. We have also worked with staff in the Red Hackle as well as lots of other organisation and groups in the area.

“There is a lot of work taking place across Jarrow including in GP Practices, where some have now put pictures on the doors of their clinicians to make it easier for people to recognise their doctor.

“We have had around 700 people take part in the dementia friendly information sessions.”

Work is set to continue in Jarrow while it is understood the next area which will aim to become more dementia friendly will be East Shields.

Mr Overton added: “We are continuing to work in Jarrow, but we are now starting to move into East Shields and the Nook.

“The sessions we hold are for a wide range of people, I have even catered sessions for younger people so that they too can become more aware of dementia and what they can do to help.

“It’s about spreading the message.”

The training is carried out by the Alzheimer’s Society. The charity provides information and support, funds research, and campaigns to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

For details visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk