Witney Dementia Action Alliance is gearing up to launch its now familiar annual Turn Witney Blue (#turnwitneyblue) initiative as part of National Dementia Action Week, 21- 27 May 2018. This year’s theme, Facing Dementia Together, focuses on the actions that we can all take to help improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Over 300 local businesses in the town will help to Turn Witney Blue for Dementia Action Week 2018
Dementia Action Alliances are voluntary bodies that aim to connect organisations across England to share best practice and take action on dementia. The Alliance initiative emerged as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia in 2012. Witney’s steering group, chaired by Richmond Witney Village Adviser, Suzi Morgan, was set up in 2016 and is currently made up of representatives from Witney Rotary Club, West Oxfordshire District Council, Alzheimer’s Society Oxfordshire, Dementia Oxfordshire, Richmond Villages (Bupa) and independent business owners.
Suzi Morgan explains:“We now know that one in three people born in 2018 will go on to develop dementia in their lifetime and so, every action we take matters. That action might be an organised fund-raising event to increase awareness about dementia or, investment in dementia research; or, it might simply be knowing that by giving someone living with dementia a little extra time in a queue as they shop, you can make a world of difference to their experience of well-being.”
Last year, over 200 shops and businesses turned blue to support the Alliance’s efforts to raise awareness about dementia, a condition that currently affects 850,000 people in the UK and also impacts on an estimated 670,000 unpaid family carers. For 2018, the team are aiming to increase that number to over 320.
Commented Alliance secretary, Linda Johnston:“Our brilliant local shop owners, emergency care and rescue services and our larger high street brands and businesses never fail to help us to raise awareness about the impact of dementia by their actions, the most recognisable of which, is to turn their high street window displays blue to promote our week-long programme of dementia-friendly events. However, underpinning it all is their united vision with us, of a truly dementia-friendly community where people living with dementia and their families feel equally valued and understood, and can continue to take advantage of all that Witney has to offer for as long as possible.”
A full programme of events is planned for the week, including Witney’s dementia-friendly screening at Cineworld and the first dementia-friendly church service at St Mary’s Church.