TAMWORTH has been shortlisted for a major national award in recognition of the amazing work being carried out to help and support people living with dementia.
The town is a finalist for the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Community of the Year award in the rural area, village, or town category for ‘leading and inspirin a change that will transform the lives of people living with dementia forever’.
Change locally has been led by the Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance (TDAA) – 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.
Tamworth was officially granted ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ status in May 2017 and now boasts an impressive army of more than 4,400 Dementia Friends who have taken part in training and awareness sessions to give them a greater level of understanding of the condition.
Through the alliance, the town hosts 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.
Being nominated for a Dementia Friendly Award is another fantastic step in the journey to becoming a truly dementia friendly town.
Chairman of Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance, John Edwards, said: “It is wonderful to see our town in the spotlight for being at the forefront of making life better for those living with dementia and their carers. The response from the people of Tamworth to the work of the TDAA has been fantastic and it is right that this award nomination recognises the efforts of so many people across the town.”
The annual Dementia Friendly Awards were set up by the Alzheimer’s Society in 2013 to celebrate and showcase the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations across the UK who have led the way on improving the lives of people affected by dementia.
This year’s standard of nominations was high, with applicants having to demonstrate the work that has been carried out in their communities, how they have engaged with people living with dementia and how lives have been changed as a result.
Tamworth is one of three areas contesting the Dementia Friendly Community of the Year (rural area, village, or town) award, alongside Blaby and Swindon.
Winners will be revealed at a special ceremony hosted by Alzheimer’s Society ambassador, Angela Rippon CBE, at The Royal Horseguards, Whitehall Court, in London on Thursday, November 22.
Tamworth Borough Council is a member of Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance and has supported the group since it was first established in January 2017.
The council’s Dementia Champion, Cllr Tina Clements, said: “The amount of dedication and commitment that has been shown by members of the TDAA over the years has been incredible and they really have worked tirelessly to effect change in the local community. “Tamworth started its journey to becoming a Dementia Friendly Community in 2016 when the idea was first proposed by Cllr Simon Goodall as vice chairman of the council’s Healthier and Safer Scrutiny Committee, with support from its then chairman, Cllr Andrew James. Cabinet then approved plans for us to join with local organisations and stakeholders to help facilitate the work needed to achieve Dementia Friendly Community status.
“The work continues as we seek to create more Dementia Friends and carry out more research across a range of sectors to find out where improvements can be made. We’ve already come a long way and being shortlisted for this award shows we are definitely on the right track. Congratulations to all involved in making this happen.”
Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance (TDAA) is currently looking into how dementia friendly the town’s shops and businesses are. Carers and people living with dementia are invited to share their views at a special workshop being held as part of Tamworth Memory Café at Sacred Heart Church in Glascote on Tuesday, October 23, from 11am.
For more information on how to get involved in the town’s dementia friendly work, including becoming a Dementia Friend, please visit the Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance website, or www.tamworth.gov.uk/dementia-friendly.