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Luton Dementia Alliance launched

Friday 17 January 2014
Participating organisations:
Luton Borough Council

A number of local businesses have made a commitment to support people living with dementia following a successful conference in Luton last Friday (29 November).

More than 200 people attended the conference at Venue 360 which marked the official launch of the Luton Dementia Action Alliance.

The alliance was an idea worked up by Luton Borough Council and the Alzheimer’s Society which encourages individuals and organisations to agree to make a real difference to the lives of people with dementia and their families and carers.

Special ‘pledge’ boards were signed by 22 local businesses in attendance. Other local organisations are now also being encouraged to join the alliance.

Opened by the Leader of Luton Borough Council, Cllr Hazel Simmons, the theme of the conference was ‘Making Luton a Dementia Friendly Community’ and included a number of discussions about how everyone can work together to remove the stigma and raise awareness of dementia within the community.

One of the highlights of the event was an energetic and engaging key note speech by the University of Plymouth’s Dr Ian Sherriff who is a member of the Government’s Dementia Challenge group and a leading academic on the condition. There were also heartfelt presentations from both a carer and a person living with dementia.

The conference concluded with more than 100 people attending a ‘Dementia Friends’ training session so they could learn a little bit more about what it's like to live with dementia and how they can turn that understanding into action.

Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Portfolio Holder for adult social care, said: “It was great to see public sector organisations, private companies, carers and people living with dementia all come together to discuss and learn about dementia and make a commitment to supporting people with the condition.

“It’s not only age-focussed organisations that can join the alliance - all you need is a commitment to taking action to support people with dementia.  It was very pleasing to see a youth facility like Tokko release an action plan and a commitment to train their young people as Dementia Friends.”

Gill Lintott, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, said: “It was a great privilege to be part of such an inspiring launch event for the Luton Dementia Action Alliance. Having so many people and organisations together in one room talking about dementia was fantastic and it really does feel like the beginning of new and exciting times for the town. 

“There are more than 1,800 people with dementia in Luton. From bus drivers to the boardroom, from the bank to the beauty salon, we all have a role to play in helping people with dementia to be part of their community. I hope more businesses and organisations will now come forward to join the Dementia Action Alliance and play their part.”

For more information, or if any individual or company wants to join the Luton Dementia Action Alliance, call 01582 547825.

More information is available on www.luton.gov.uk/dementia

Read the Luton Dementia Action Alliance Launch Event Report.