Schoolchildren get unique insight into life with dementia

Schoolchildren in Ellesmere Port were taught about living with dementia as part of an innovative scheme aimed at raising awareness about the condition.

Pupils at The Oaks Primary School attended a workshop run by ForHousing which helps children aged between eight and 11 spot the signs of dementia and allows them to understand how it can change people’s personality and behaviour.

ForHousing is a progressive landlord which owns and manages 24,000 homes and provides housing management services on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The organisation teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to run the sessions as part of its work to improve wellbeing, allow people to live with dignity and have a positive and lasting impact in communities.

All of the children involved signed up to become Dementia Friends by pledging to take action to be supportive and kind to anyone in their community with dementia.

The workshop included topics such as brain and memory function, the role of carers and families and the difficulties people living with dementia face in their communities.

The lessons have already been a success in schools in Salford and Knowsley. Known as the ‘Mr Alzheimer’s and Me’ educational project, the classes have now expanded to Ellesmere Port.

Around 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK according to the Alzheimer’s Society, with nearly a third of young people knowing someone living with the condition.

Henry Terefenko, ForHousing Managing Director, said: “ForHousing is focused on working collaboratively and with care to deliver lasting change in communities and improve lives.

“We are passionate about promoting wellbeing and believe working with the next generation to create a more dementia-friendly society is a key part of that.

“It’s great to mark the expansion of these workshops for school pupils in Ellesmere Port during World Wellbeing Week.

“Dementia is on the rise in our ageing society, so more young people are likely to come into contact with people living with the condition through family and friends.

“That’s why the workshops focus on encouraging young people to become Dementia Friends.”

ForHousing, which trains its staff to be Dementia Friends, is now planning to roll the classes out to more schools in Ellesmere Port.

ForHousing believes in improving lives by providing quality homes and places that create new possibilities for people.

It’s Community Impact Strategy involves working collaboratively with partners to continue to invest in projects that give people a better quality of life, improving health and wellbeing and enabling them to feel safer.