Essex care home helps school children become Dementia Friends during Dementia Awareness Week

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© Licensed to simonjacobs.com. 19.05.16 Halstead, UK. Care UK's Colne View care home Customer Relations Manager, David Martins gives a talk on dementia to Year 5 pupils at St. Andrew’s C of E Primary School. Participating pupils were given copies David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great Escape’ where the main character is living with dementia. FREE PRESS, EDITORIAL AND PR USAGE. Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

Pupils at St. Andrews Primary School in Halstead, Essex had a lesson in what it’s like to live with dementia when a member of the Care UK team from the nearby Colne View care home dropped in to the school during Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May).

 

David Martins, customer relations manager at Care UK’s Colne View, led two interactive sessions for year five children at the school. As well as giving everyone information on the condition and how it can affect people, David also set out to make the pupils Dementia Friends.

 

An initiative from the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Friends is all about learning more about dementia and turning understanding into action. From telling others about Dementia Friends to visiting someone living with the condition to offer support.

 

St. Andrew’s Primary School was also presented with copies of David Walliams’ children’s book ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’, which focuses on the adventures of a beloved grandpa who is living in a care home and who has dementia.

 

David Martins, customer relations manager at Colne View care home, said: “As a Dementia Friends Champion, Dementia Awareness Week provided the perfect opportunity for me to visit key groups in the community.  My aim was to pass on my knowledge, and the benefit of my experience working with older people, to help more people understand what it’s like to live with dementia.

 

“During the week I’ve helped more than 130 people to become Dementia Friends. To achieve this I have worked closely with James Taylor from Greenfields Community Housing who is also a passionate supporter of Dementia Friends. We both feel it’s important to speak to the younger generation, so together we visited local schools.

 

“The pupils at St. Andrews Primary School were incredibly enthusiastic and eager to learn and I’m sure ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’ will prompt further thought and discussion beyond the classroom.”

 

Mary Veater, teacher at St. Andrew’s Primary School, said: “We were all thrilled to be involved in a project which is helping to make Halstead more dementia friendly while also building on the link between the school and Colne View. The talks were very valuable and they have helped to make many of us far more aware of dementia and how it can affect people’s lives.”

 

Colne View is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, nursing, and dementia care, as well as short-term day and respite care.

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