Primary school children become Dementia Friends


Twenty-seven junior school pupils from local school, St Benedict’s Primary School in Hindley, have attended a dementia awareness session promoting discussion and understanding of how to engage with people who are living with dementia, led by Marie Calderbank from specialist care village, Belong Wigan.


Marie delivered the session to pupils to highlight how to support people, including relatives, to live well with dementia. The interactive session focused on topics including the impacts of dementia on a person and making someone with dementia feel understood and safe.


Marie is a lead trainer at Belong Wigan and is registered with the Alzheimer’s Society as a Dementia Champion.


Aaliyah, 10-year-old St Benedict’s pupil, said: “As a Dementia Friend – I will be able to help people living with dementia to live well. I will try to support people with dementia so that they can feel happy and able to make more memories.”


Marie Calderbank, added: “Dementia can impact the lives of almost anybody, so it is important that people learn how to interact with those living with it. I really enjoyed my time at St. Benedict’s primary school and it was lovely that the pupils were so engaged and eager to learn how to understand people who are living with dementia. Participants will now be well equipped to support those living with dementia and that is a truly valuable and important skill.


“I would like to thank St Benedict’s teacher Michelle Ainscough and all of her teaching staff for welcoming me to the school and going the extra mile to recognise the importance of these sessions.”


Inspired by the dementia awareness session, St. Benedict’s year five pupils recently held a cake sale for their parents and fellow students, at which they raised £350 for Alzheimer’s Society and Belong Wigan and delivered a presentation about what they had learned about dementia with Marie.


Belong deliver dementia friends sessions to various schools, organisations and community groups across the North West.


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