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Community School becomes dementia friendly

21 July 2015

A Stockton-on-Tees Borough primary school is the first to sign up to a special project to promote awareness of dementia and memory loss among its staff and pupils.

Billingham South Community Primary School has committed to become a ‘dementia friendly’ school by pledging to increase understanding about dementia and reduce stigma about the condition.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Health and Wellbeing Librarian has been working with the school to teach children about dementia through innovative lessons involving interesting storybook sessions and memory games.

To gain the special status the school agreed for all staff to attend ‘dementia friends’ sessions and raise dementia awareness with all the children in school. The school has now appointed two champions to promote understanding about memory loss and dementia. They will also provide an annual update of their progress.

The project is part of wider work Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Cleveland Alzheimer’s Residential Centre (Clevearc) and its partners are doing to make Stockton-on-Tees a nationally recognised dementia friendly community.

Gayle Tweed, Chief Executive of Clevearc, visited the school to present staff and pupils with their working to become ‘Dementia Friendly Stockton’ certificate.

Pam Edwards, Head Teacher of Billingham South Community Primary School, said: “I am so proud that our school is the first primary school in Stockton Borough to be involved in this wonderful project and has been recognised for our work to become a dementia friendly school.”

Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We know a growing number of our residents’ lives are affected by dementia. This is why the Council is keen to educate people of all ages about this condition but especially children and younger people because it’s crucial that the next generation is dementia friendly.

“I’m really pleased that Billingham South Primary is our first school to sign up to this project and I congratulate them on their efforts. I’d encourage any school interested in this project to get in touch and find out more how children develop their confidence and understanding of this condition.”

Billingham South Community Primary will now be able to display the national working to become dementia friendly logo and will be promoted on the Dementia Friendly Stockton website – www.dementiafriendlystockton.co.uk

To find out more about the project contact Karen Morris, Health and Wellbeing Librarian at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council on 01642 526518 or email Karen.Morris@stockton.gov.uk