New ‘dementia friends’ to draw on Olympics spirit

13:02 08 November 2012

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was in Kentish Town to launch the initiative today. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was in Kentish Town to launch the initiative today. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Government has started a scheme to identify hundreds of volunteers to support people with dementia.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt today said he wanted people to draw inspiration from the efforts made by Games Makers during London 2012.

The government hopes to attract “dementia friends” who will be able to spot the signs of the condition and offer support for sufferers.

He said: “The volunteers at the Olympics were an inspiration to everyone across the country and I think they changed the way we all felt about the Olympics because that sense that people were giving their own time to try and make sure that we could enjoy the Games really made it so much better as an experience.

“We definitely took a lot of inspiration from that and we are trying to harness that to tackle this big challenge we have - a million people will get dementia by 2020, that’s a huge chunk of the population. It’s already responsible for about five per cent or 10 per cent of all deaths.”

The sessions, which will be provided in church halls and workplaces, will help to raise awareness and teach people how to support those with the condition.

Mr Hunt, who received a taster session this morning in Kentish Town, added: “We recognise that we can’t do this as a Government on our own - we need the help of the voluntary sector and the public to be part of this change.”

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes, who was also at the event, said: “There are three main parts to the session, one is an understanding of what dementia is, so there is an understanding that dementia is a disease of the brain it’s not just a natural part of ageing - which is one of the myths that we need to get away from.

“Secondly, that there is support people can get, whether it’s from the Alzheimer’s Society, whether it’s the drugs that are now available on the NHS.

“Thirdly, people will take away from the training session a better understanding of every day life - how much more difficult it is for somebody with dementia to make a cup of tea, to go shopping, to operate a bank account.

Prime Minister David Cameron also announced that the Government will be giving almost £10 million for dementia research and £50 million to make wards and care homes more comfortable for people with dementia.

To register interest in taking part in the local sessions, visit: dementiafriends.org.uk or by text Friend to 88080.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 17:16
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more