Dementia Friends awareness training

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Dementia Friends awareness training

02 February 2015

Dementia Friends Training
Students and staff from Bracknell & Wokingham College have taken part in dementia awareness training sessions to become Dementia Friends, as part of an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

In December 2014, Bracknell & Wokingham College announced its membership to the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) meaning they are part of the Dementia Friendly Community (DFC).

Committed to working to become dementia friendly the college arranged for dementia training sessions to be made available for all customer facing staff and students to become Dementia Friends.

Dementia Friends encourage family, friends and the local community to learn a little bit more about dementia to help people with dementia to live well.

Caroline Rathmell, Local Dementia Action Alliance Co-ordinator for the charity Alzheimer’s Society, led the training sessions. She stressed to the groups that no-one is expected to be an expert when it comes to dementia but by just having a little bit of knowledge about the condition, it could have a big impact on someone living with dementia.

Caroline said: “We are running these training sessions to help people understand what someone with dementia may be going through so, rather than being afraid of approaching them, they can be a bit more confident in helping someone who may seem a little distressed.

“The sessions have been fairly lively with lots of engagement from the students and staff who clearly wanted to take all they could from them. Hopefully the information they have learnt here today will help them both personally and professionally.”

Mark Packham, Hair & Beauty Curriculum Manager at the college, whose students took part, said:

“They have really joined in with the session and I know this training will affect their lives as they will one day be faced with clients who may have dementia. This training will help give them some understanding towards these clients so they will be better prepared to help them.”

Lauren Wilsonham, 17, Bracknell, a Hair student, enjoyed the session and found it to be very informative:

“This has definitely made me see dementia differently and I now have a better understanding of it and know more of the signs to look for in others.”

Another Hair student Teighlor Jarrold, 18, Bracknell, found the session to be useful on a personal level:

“My nan has dementia so I think it will help me to help her more and to understand more about what she’s going through. I also think it will help me at times in my career as I may come across clients who are living with it, and hopefully I’ll be able to deal with them appropriately.”

You can sign up to become a Dementia Friend online at

The college also runs a bookable course in dementia awareness with a Level 3 Certificate in Dementia Care, for more information email  or call 01344 868600.

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