Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands situated in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France. The island has a population of around 63,000 and an area of 63 square kilometres. The island is a Crown dependency but has its own jurisdiction and is not part of the United Kingdom. The main town is St Peter Port on the east coast.
Guernsey has a strong community spirit and it is an important aim of Dementia Friendly Guernsey to ensure that people affected by dementia are enabled to continue being involved in all aspects of island life that they wish to be.
In 2015 the average life expectancy was 82.47 years ranking it tenth in the world. It is estimated that around 1,200 people on the island have some form of dementia although the true figure is not known.
Through listening to the voices of Alzheimer’s Society service users it became quite apparent that more needed to be done in the community to make Guernsey more dementia friendly. Seeing real achievements that have been made on the nearby continent was a further inspiration to take action to make Guernsey a place where people with dementia, their needs and aspirations are better understood and supported.
A steering group was formed in July 2015 to bring together stakeholders to work in partnership to make Guernsey a more inclusive place for people affected by dementia to live. Since the initial meeting the group has grown from 4 to 14 members representing a wide cross-section of organisations as well as individual members including a carer and a person with dementia. The group is actively seeking more people living with dementia to get involved.
Aims and objectives
- Raise awareness of dementia in Guernsey to ensure we are inclusive of people with dementia and carers to help improve their ability to remain independent and have choice and control over their lives.
- Listen to those living with dementia and carers in Guernsey and surrounding areas and seek to improve the environment to help remove barriers and minimise difficulties faced.
- Support and encourage businesses and organisations in Guernsey to learn what it is like to live with dementia and from that understanding action and deliver changes as part of their commitment to bring about change.
- Create a Dementia Friendly Community, so that people with dementia and those who care for them are encouraged to seek help and are supported by their community.
Full steering group meetings are held bi-monthly.
How to join
Dementia Friendly Guernsey welcomes support from across the community. If you would like to join the steering group or be involved in some other way, please email Wayne.Bulpitt@activeoffshore.com or Michael.Nicholls@alzheimers.org.uk