THE work of organisations in Stubbington to help people suffering from dementia has led the the town to being awarded ‘dementia-friendly’ status.
Fareham and Gosport Dementia Action Alliance, part of a nationwide network of groups working to support people with the illness, has recognised Stubbington thanks staff training at 36 organisations in the area.
Vivienne Pugh, an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness Champion who has trained staff at all of the organisations over the last three years, said she was ‘thrilled’ to hear her hard work has been recognised.
The 75-year-old, whose partner suffered from dementia for five years before his death in 2014, said: ‘We have come a long way from ten years ago, when there was a lot of stigma around dementia and people were essentially treated like children.’
But it was ‘vital’ that organisations are continuously working to keep their staff aware of the issue, according Mandy Rowlands, who helps to run a dementia-friendly cafe in the Crofton Community Centre, in Stubbington Lane.
She said: ‘It’s fantastic to be recognised as a dementia friendly area, but its important to continuously work on keeping staff trained.
‘We hear so many stories of people becoming confused or lost and receiving help from shops, so it really does make a big difference.’
Earlier this year, staff at the Co-op was able to put its training into practice when a customer went to pay for her weekly shopping to find she had forgotten her purse and had mistakenly thought her husband was waiting for her outside.
Hannah Ellis, the duty manager at the shop, said: ‘Our staff member told them not to worry about paying right away and to pay when they were next in the store.
‘We received some really nice feedback from other customers about how the staff member dealt with the situation.’
Any businesses or organisations wishing to receive training are advised to contact Age Concern Hampshire at the Lockswood Day Centre.
Staff from local organisations will celebrate the area’s achievement with a reception hosted by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage at Holy Rood Church, Stubbington on Friday November 1.