South Norfolk focuses on becoming dementia friendly

South Norfolk Council has been rolling out a new initiative to raise awareness of the issues facing

South Norfolk Council has been rolling out a new initiative to raise awareness of the issues facing people living with dementia, their families and their carers. Picture: South Norfolk Councill - Credit: Archant

A district council has teamed up with Creative Arts East to help more communities to become dementia friendly and raise awareness of the issues people living with the condition face.

South Norfolk Council (SNC) has joined forces with the arts organisation to offer Dementia training and information sessions alongside the charity's established village screen events.

Bringing the cinema experience to village halls and rural communities across Norfolk, in May 2018 there were more than 35 village screenings of a variety of films from the latest blockbusters to celluloid classics.

Now building on the success of the village Screen events SNC has been supporting special Films with Friends screenings. Where alongside a film screening attendees are offered Dementia Friends training and information on how to make future events dementia friendly.

Raising awareness and improving the understand of the condition, the Dementia Friends sessions are run by SNC's Community Connectors.

One of the connectors Barbara Howard explained what the was covered in the training: 'We provide free Dementia Friends information sessions to all who attend the screenings. This involves understanding more about dementia, how it affects those living with it, and the small changes we can make to improve their lives.

'These events are spreading awareness and are helping to provide a space for those living with dementia to go where they can feel safe and welcome.

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Adding that so far the training feedback has been 'very positive' she added 'We want to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness for those living with dementia and their families and carers. Even if one person learns something new, it can create a domino effect.

A spokesperson for Creative Arts East said: 'We are so pleased to be collaborating with SNC on the 'Films With Friends' project. 'Raising awareness about dementia is a priority for both Creative Arts East and South Norfolk Council, and this project is a really good way of assisting our South Norfolk Screen groups to become more dementia-inclusive.'

For more information on the Films with Friends initiative which is being part funded by SNC and the East of England Co-op contact South Norfolk Council's Community Team on 01508 533633.