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Highcross (Hammerson)

Regional shopping centre with over 140 stores attracting a mixed demographic of more than 18 million visitors a year.

7 September 2016
East Midlands
Local Alliances:
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?


1. At Highcross any visitor has the choice to fully embrace the centre’s safe, clean, welcoming and supportive environment. We appreciate that not all customers visit the centre purely to shop, however all our visitors are welcome to use any of our facilities and services.

2. Highcross has made reasonable adjustments to consider people with Dementia and their needs. For example purchasing appropriate mall furniture and in the redesign of our toilets.

3. To ensure people with Dementia have the support they need, currently 90% of Highcross staff that work directly in a customer facing role have received Dementia Awareness training level 1 and 40% are on level 2 and are Dementia Ambassadors (expected to increase to 60% in September). 

4. Highcross team are on hand to identify and assist people with Dementia following their Dementia Training. The Centre has reviewed it's wayfinding to ensure that people with dementia have clear directions, for anyone needing instant guidance there are information points and a customer service presence throughout the centre, in addition to this Highcross has a 'Customer Service Lounge' which is manned during opening hours and is a designated Keep Safe place within Leicester city centre. 

5. Feedback is always welcome from customers and is taken seriously. We encourage this by our feedback forms, internet, and face to face engagement. The customer service presence on the mall ensures that anyone wishing to provide direct feedback can do so. Reasonable adjustments to the centre have been made because we have considered people with dementia.

6. As a centre Highcross is inclusive to all community demographics. Regularly hosting Community activities - including a Dementia Awareness pop-up shop during Dementia week in May. This encouraged those with Dementia (and their careers) to share their stories, to help bridge the gap between the Dementia Community, the centre and the general public.   

7. Once all Highcross staff are fully trained in Dementia Awareness, the next stage is to encourage retailers to attend Dementia training. Once signed up to Dementia Action Alliance Highcross plan to promote the Alliance and their work both on their website and Community information boards.


2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

There have been challenges within the organisational structure, however Hammerson are now encouraging all shopping centres within their portfolio to be dementia friendly, following Highcross' lead.

Additionally, as a centre there are always ongoing time, budget and engagement challenges. 

2. Actions

  • Dementia Training

    Currently 90% of Highcross staff that work directly in a customer facing role have received Dementia Awareness training level 1 and 40% are on level 2 and are Dementia Ambassadors. The plan is to increase level 2 training to 60% by September. 

    Being implemented

    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Furniture review

    Working with Dementia focus group seating was identified as an issue. Original seating  had no back support, was low and difficult to identify the purpose of the chair! Seating areas instead have now been created easily identifiable with a rug, and chairs which are higher, comfy and include back support. These areas are now more welcoming and encourage people to take a rest.


    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Raising public awareness

    To help raise Dementia Awareness our dedicated community space at Highcross, WotSPACE, became home to a Pop-Up shop in partnership with the National Alzheimer’s Society during the week of Monday 16th - 29th May.

    The shop hosted local service providers who provided a range of activities and opportunities for members of the public, employees and wider retailers, to access information and guidance about the help and support available. 

    Activities included a memory tree, making your own forget-me-not as a way of showing your support or remembering someone special and 'Singing for the Brain'.



    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Focus Group meetings

    Focus group meetings established to discuss the possibilities of all parties working together to help build Highcross as first Dementia Friendly Shopping Centre in the East Midlands if not the UK. Chris Knifton chaired the first meeting on 13/05/16 and informed the group of progress so far, history of his work and future potential. Explained the 2 Dementia courses being ran at Highcross and what the overall aim is.    


    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Review of toilet facilities

    Toilets had been identified as requiring improvement in colour schemes. The toilet refresh is not complete and the feedback received was that the contrast is really eye catching and that more importantly differentiates the walls and basin units. The symbols to highlight the men’s / women’s toilet are more visible.