Left to Right. Kit Malthouse, Debbie Morshead the project manager for Dementia Friendly Hampshire and Debra Ramchurn the Chief Executive of Andover Mind
Kit Malthouse, Conservative Candidate for North West Hampshire, has volunteered to be trained as a Dementia Friend and is calling for people to join him as part of a drive to make Andover a Dementia Friendly town.
Dementia affects 820,000 people in the UK and approximately 23 million people in the UK have a close friend or family member with dementia. As well as the huge personal cost, dementia costs the UK economy £23 billion a year, more than cancer and heart disease combined.
Kit said: “Dementia is a major and growing issue in the whole of the UK, so I was really keen to visit Andover Mind and understand the dementia strategy for Hampshire. “
“We all need to know how to help people living with dementia, even more so if you are dealing with the public on a daily basis, so being trained as a Dementia Friend is incredibly important and that is why I have volunteered.”
“My training session will be on Friday 10th October at 2pm in central Andover and I am looking for volunteers to join me. People can sign up by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The session should last about an hour.”
“I hope that I can play my part in Andover joining other Hampshire towns like Romsey and Alton, in having a Dementia Action Group and a Dementia Friendly High Street.”
As part of the Hampshire County Council Dementia Friendly Hampshire campaign, Andover Mind is co-ordinating the Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance. Membership of the Alliance is now over 200, covering every sector, from retail, banking and hospitality to public services, and charities, care homes, leisure, care agencies and training organisations and is now one of the largest and most diverse Local Action Alliances in the country, with significant support from Test Valley Borough Council.
Andover Mind are also working to help create more Dementia Friendly High Streets, with Eastleigh, Lymington and Winchester joining Alton, Fareham, Fleet, Lyndhurst and Romsey between now and Christmas.
Kit is following in the footsteps of the current MP, Sir George Young who is already a Dementia Friend.
Readers can access lots of information about the campaign and how to get involved online at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/dementiafriendly