‘We’ll be there for you’

National charity picks Waltham Forest to launch project aimed at making communities more dementia friendly

Dementia friends

Dementia friends Florence Naluyimba, Mustafa Meyzin, Sarah More and Lucien Topp

Waltham Forest is one of ten places chosen by a leading national charity to take part in a project aimed at building dementia-friendly communities.

With someone developing dementia every three minutes and currently no cure, the condition is set to become the 21st Century’s biggest killer. But the Alzheimer’s Society is now using funding from government to “enhance the inclusion and empowerment” of people living with dementia in Waltham Forest.

To help get the project started Alzheimer’s Society is working with existing local organisations such as Leyton Orient Trust, whose stadium stewards have become dementia friends so they can better support people living with dementia to continue attending the football club’s matches. Orient are also planning to host a health awareness match day for dementia in October.

Joe Akram, the charity’s services manager for Waltham Forest, said: “I’m delighted that Waltham Forest is focussing on becoming a dementia-friendly borough.

“There are over 2,000 people living with dementia in Waltham Forest, [but] by working with local organisations like Leyton Orient Trust, we can improve the lives of those affected by dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Society aims to increase the number of dementia friends across the community by talking to more local groups, politicians, and schools.

Another key focus is encouraging local businesses to become members of the Waltham Forest Dementia Action Alliance. Fiona Cronin, who chairs the network, said: “By choosing Waltham Forest as an accelerator site for additional support, the Alzheimer’s Society has recognised the success already achieved and the huge potential to make the borough a dementia-friendly community.

“Our diverse communities, local business and faith groups will be at the forefront of our efforts to make our borough one of the best places to live, shop and work for those living with dementia and their families.”

For more information on the project and to find out how to become a dementia friend:

Visit dementiafriends.org.uk