Residents, organisations and businesses in Fakenham will be asked to help their town become a Dementia Friendly Community at a launch event on Thursday, May 26th, at The Prince of Wales Stand, Fakenham Racecourse, starting at 6.30pm. The project is being led by Age UK Norfolk, First Focus and a steering committee of local people.
Age UK Norfolk has been working in partnership with the steering committee, offering advice on the practicalities of setting up a Dementia Friendly Community project, and arranging free dementia awareness training sessions for local people. The event will be compered by George Acheson –a retired GP.
Age UK Norfolk’s Dementia Lead - Jo Mountjoy-Dixon said, “The aim of Dementia Friendly Community projects is to unite the whole community in raising awareness and increasing the understanding of dementia, so that people living with dementia and their carers are able to access the social life, businesses and amenities in their community and to live independently for longer in their own homes”.
April Simnor, Manager of First Focus in Fakenham and Chair of the Steering Committee, commented on behalf of the group, “Prior to the launch, Year 11 students from Fakenham College took part in Dementia Friends Information Sessions and were advised on how to collect local data which will help to evaluate the project. The students will also be assisting at the launch event” 
Laura Marshall Teacher at Fakenham College commented, “It’s great to raise awareness of dementia and to get the students involved in this project, giving them an insight into the needs of the elderly in our community, which we cannot reflect within a classroom setting. Some of our students shared that they have relatives that have dementia who may need support or help. The more we are aware of this condition within our community, the easier it is for everyone to manage the difficulties that affect people living with dementia”.  
Over the coming weeks, the steering group will be visiting businesses, groups and organisations in Fakenham to invite them to the launch event, and it is hoped that residents from Fakenham and the surrounding area will show their support for the initiative by attending the launch.  
Businesses will have the opportunity to attend Age UK Norfolk’s Dementia Awareness training workshops and learn how making simple changes to their customer service and environment can make a huge improvement for their customers with dementia. The workshops are full of practical tips and advice and are suitable for anyone who works in a public facing role.  Everyone who attends is given a dementia friendly environment tool-kit and dementia aware window sticker to display. 
This is the fourteenth Dementia Friendly Community project to be launched in partnership with Age UK Norfolk. Jo Mountjoy-Dixon, Dementia Lead at Age UK Norfolk said, “It is a great achievement to have 14 communities throughout Norfolk that are willing to continually work towards becoming more dementia aware and friendly.  Age UK Norfolk is very proud of this project. The hard work Fakenham and other communities have carried out to raise awareness and challenge the stigma of dementia is beginning to shape Norfolk communities of tomorrow, where people with dementia and their carers could live in a more positive, accepting and caring environment.  ”
Anyone can attend the launch to find out more about what a Dementia Friendly Community means and how they can get involved. To receive an invitation, please contact: 
Joanne Mountjoy-Dixon, Dementia Lead, m. 07796 320 996, e. joanne.mountjoy-dixon@ageuknorfolk.org.uk

Dementia friendly toilet signs

Residents, organisations and businesses in Fakenham will be asked to help their town become a Dementia Friendly Community at a launch event on Thursday May 26th, at The Prince of Wales Stand, Fakenham Racecourse, starting at 6.30pm.

Age UK Norfolk has been working in partnership with First Focus and a steering committee of local people, offering advice on the practicalities of setting up a Dementia Friendly Community project, and arranging free
dementia awareness training sessions for local people. The event will be compered by George Acheson, a retired GP.

Age UK Norfolk’s Dementia Lead, Jo Mountjoy-Dixon said, 'The aim of Dementia Friendly Community projects is to unite the whole community in raising awareness and increasing the understanding of dementia, so that people living with dementia and their carers are able to access the social life, businesses and amenities in their community and to live independently for longer in their own homes'.

This is the 14th Dementia Friendly Community project to be launched in partnership with Age UK Norfolk. 

Get involved

Anyone can attend the launch to find out more about what a Dementia Friendly Community means and how they can get involved. To receive an invitation, please contact: Joanne Mountjoy-Dixon, Dementia Lead, m. 07796 320 996, e. joanne.mountjoy-dixon@ageuknorfolk.org.uk