Social Responsibility

Dementia Awareness Week

Wed, 20 Apr 2016 15:31:00 BST

Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May) is an important opportunity for us to increase our understanding of dementia.

In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia; it is estimated that around 400,000 people have dementia but do not know it. By raising awareness about this condition, it is hoped that more people will be diagnosed earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms.

For the past two years the University had been supporting Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society led initiative, which aims to increase dementia awareness and change the way the nation thinks, talk and acts about dementia. The target of the Alzheimer's Society is to reach 4 million Friends by March 2020.

A Dementia Friend is someone who has attended a one hour information session and has committed to an action that will make the lives of people living with dementia a little bit better. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend and every action accounts– from helping someone to find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia on social media.

Dementia Friends Champions are trained volunteers who encourage their family, friends, colleagues and local community to understand a little bit more about dementia, what it’s like to live with dementia and then turn that understanding into action.

Michelle Kipling, Academic Services and Accreditation Manager, at Alliance MBS has been a Dementia Friends Champion since October 2014. During this time she has delivered information sessions to 542 people both at work and in the community.

On 18 May, during Dementia Awareness week, Michelle is aiming to achieve a personal best and hold her largest session for 200 staff and students. The session will provide information that will enable participants to understand the 5 key messages the Alzheimer's Society wish to get across to the nation; and also to have a greater understanding of how dementia affects someone living with it to enable people to support them more effectively.

We would like to encourage as many staff and students to register for this Dementia Friends information session by contacting Michelle directly.

To find out more about becoming a Dementia Friends Champion or register for a training course please email

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