Creating a dementia-aware county

Alzheimer's Support teamed up with Alzheimer's Society and Wiltshire Council to help the council and local communities in Wiltshire become more dementia-friendly.

More than 1,000 council staff have become dementia aware, with front-line staff in adult social care, libraries and leisure centres leading the way in becoming Dementia Friends. Another 3,000 Dementia Friends have been recruited in the community, including more than 300 firefighters, 200 GP surgery staff, police officers and many others on the 'front-line' including taxi drivers and shop workers. The three part-time project workers and their teams of volunteer Dementia Friends Champions have also delivered sessions to church groups, social groups and businesses, while more than 600 schoolchildren have become Dementia Friends in specially tailored sessions.

The project was funded for two years and an important objective was ensure it continues into the future. Scores of volunteer Dementia Friends champions have been recruited to take on the message, and the project workers have supported Wiltshire's communities to set up Dementia Action Alliances to keep the good work going into the future. The project team has hosted two county-wide forums to help communities support each other as they work towards their goals.

The project has formally ended but the good work continues through Wiltshire's network of Dementia Action Alliances and ongoing Understanding Dementia sessions.

To arrange a session for your group or staff team contact Annie.

What they say

The idea of becoming Dementia Friends fits in perfectly with the aims of the Fire Service. Having an awareness of how to communicate appropriately with our customers who may have a range of differing needs, is essential.
Gus Cuthbert, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Wiltshire Area Commander

I and my team picked up so much from this session and we are already making changes. I would recommend everyone who works for the council to go on this.  Dave Wells, leisure centre manager, Trowbridge


Whether they work in libraries or roads, in customer facing roles or behind the scenes, our staff will have that extra understanding of what it can be like to live with dementia. Maggie Rae, former corporate director, Wiltshire Council