Dementia Friends

At the beginning of April, Hextol signed up to become a Dementia Friendly organisation. The majority of employees, along with some volunteer supervisors, took part in a workshop which was led by Adele Kinsella, a local Dementia Champion from the Tynedale Dementia Action Alliance. It was a fantastic session and we not only learnt about the causes, symptoms and impacts of different types of dementia, but how we, as a charity, can become more Dementia Friendly.
At Hextol we provide voluntary working opportunities for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions, including those with early onset dementia. Working can promote a sense of purpose for the individual and allows them to use their skills and knowledge as well as learning new talents. All of our businesses, be it gardening, catering or warehouse work, provide a supportive, flexible and positive working environment for those living with dementia. The social aspects of work can also help to reduce isolation after diagnosis. We are working to become a Dementia Friendly organisation to widen our understanding of dementia and provide appropriate volunteering opportunities for everyone, no matter what their abilities.
When signing up, we made 3 ‘pledges’: to arrange Dementia Friends awareness courses for staff members; to use Dementia Action Alliance guidelines to make reasonable changes to the physical environment of our sites so they are more welcoming and functional for those living with dementia and to explore the working opportunities for those with dementia within Hextol.
We have also taken part in Dementia Awareness events, such Living Well in Tynedale that took place at Hexham Abbey in May 2019. We have also hosted our first Dementia Action Alliance meeting at the Hextol Tans where we joined local members to discuss how we can all work to raise awareness of dementia and how Hexham can become a Dementia Friendly town.
And that’s not all! On 25th July, one of our catering supervisors completed the training to become a Dementia Champion. Alice will now be able to offer Dementia Awareness sessions to other local businesses and other groups. We will continue to work with the local Dementia Action Alliance to achieve these pledges and help others to become more Dementia Friendly.
If you or someone you know would like to talk to us about volunteering or to find out more about what we do, please contact Cherie on 01434 605253 or email us [email protected]

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