Tamworth is now well on the way to its goal of becoming a dementia friendly community after the borough council officially became a member of the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Dementia Action Alliance.
Dementia friendly communities aim to help people with dementia and their carers feel safe, supported and able to remain involved in community life. There are more than 100 dementia friendly communities in the UK – and Tamworth’s joining of the Dementia Action Alliance is another step along the road to joining their ranks and achieving dementia friendly status
In June this year, the proposal to work towards achieving dementia friendly status for the borough, put forward by the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, received full Cabinet backing.
Tamworth Borough Council Chief Executive, Tony Goodwin, was asked to draw up an action plan setting out the work which will be done and the steps which need to be taken to achieve dementia friendly status.
The in-depth action plan has now been endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Society’s Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Dementia Action Alliance, which has formally granted membership to Tamworth Borough Council.
Membership of the Dementia Action Alliance will allow Tamworth Borough Council to access dementia awareness training for the Council’s senior management team, frontline staff and all elected members, which is already under way. All the dementia awareness training session are free and have no cost to Tamworth Borough Council, individuals and businesses.
Now that Tamworth is a member of the DAA, the next steps on the road to gaining dementia friendly status for the borough are to:
- Set up a local Dementia Action Alliance, working with Community Together CIC, voluntary sector and public sector organisations
- Establish a group made up of people living with dementia, their carers and support staff to develop an understanding of the challenges they face every day
- Ensure that all Tamworth Borough Council services – from paying a bill to attending a show – are accessible to people with dementia
- Make information and advice on support organisations and services available through reception and Tamworth Borough Council website
A member champion and a lead officer have been appointed to take the project to create a local Dementia Action Alliance forward and work has begun to engage other borough organisations to work together to increase awareness of dementia. One of the first of those organisations is the Community Together CIC, which is already working to help make Tamworth dementia friendly.
Tamworth Borough Council Chief Executive, Tony Goodwin, said, “We see this as an opportunity for Tamworth Borough Council, through members, partners and most importantly the public, to increase awareness and understanding of dementia.
“It is about making Tamworth a place where people who live with dementia and those who care for them are supported and encouraged, so that they can enjoy the same standards and quality of life as every one of us.
“The role of Tamworth Borough Council is not to run or organise this project, but to be one of many who are committed to the ultimate aim of making Tamworth a dementia friendly community.”
Cllr Andrew James, Chairman of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee and new Member Champion for the dementia friendly project, said, “It is great news that the Borough Council’s action plan and application to join the Dementia Action Alliance has been accepted.”
He added, “There is still a great deal of work needed for us to reach our goal of making Tamworth a dementia friendly community, but joining the Dementia Action Alliance is a big step forward in the process.
“It is now crucial that we get the public and private sector in Tamworth involved in working towards dementia friendly community status, whether it is by getting Council staff, businesses and residents trained as dementia friends or by signing up local organisations, businesses to the Dementia Action Alliance initiative.”
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Wellbeing, said, “One of the main objectives of Tamworth Borough Council is to enable people to live a quality life in Tamworth, by supporting and protecting vulnerable people, enabling residents to improve their quality of life and working to tackle inequality.
“The journey towards Tamworth achieving dementia friendly status helps to make Tamworth a place where people with dementia, and their carers, can be supported and respected.”