This is the fifth post in a regular blog series in the lead up to the Awards ceremony on 30 November.
This award is for a young person or people aged 25 or under who have taken direct action on dementia in some way in their local communities, online, professionally or at national level.
We were delighted to receive nominations from all sectors including schools, higher education/research institutions, colleges, training organisations, local community projects and youth groups and organisations. Here are our three finalists:
On December 10 2015 a young cadet from Redcar decided to give an early Christmas present to the residents of her local dementia care homes. Megan Huddleston took it upon herself to organise a truly special cinema trip for 60 residents, as well as their carers, to see a screening of the 1954 classic White Christmas.
After visiting the care homes and informing everybody of the screening, Megan went the extra mile to make the evening as fun as possible for the audience. She and her fellow cadets dressed as old fashioned usherettes while handing out ice cream to everyone. Parents of the cadets helped to make the usherette costumes, creating a real sense of community for everyone involved. All in all, Megan made a lot of people very happy while promoting dementia awareness within her local area.
She has since received a Chief Constables award for her brilliant work on the cinema trip and also earned a paid internship in one of the participating care homes!
Five students from Haringey Sixth Form College
After being inspired by a guest speaker who came in to their college to talk about dementia, five students decided that they wanted to become Dementia Friends Champions.
They contacted local day care centres and completed DC training sessions. As a result they organised two Christmas concerts that involved a lot of planning and promotion. They hosted bake sales, created cards and posters and supported all the singers and musicians involved. The concerts were a great success and they have been asked to plan them again this year.
During Dementia Awareness Week the students spoke to their principal and organised talks on dementia in classes, set up an information stall in the reception area, and created information leaflets.
Balancing all this great work with pressures of exams and coursework is a real inspiration for other youngsters who want to make a difference. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed and the college have now become part of the local DAA group and the Prime Minsters Young Focus Group, who are trying to make positive changes in regards to dementia.
Llanfaes C P School
Llanfaes School has embraced the importance of raising dementia awareness, resulting in significant impact on children and the wider community. Head teacher Karen Lawrence and local Dementia Friends Champion Joan Brown have inspired and enlightened children of all ages about dementia awareness.
The children responded well to the sessions; their minds clearly opening and developing an understanding of the effects of dementia and how they can help. Sessions for staff, governors, and parents swiftly followed, creating a real sense of focus on dementia throughout the entire school community.
After the success of the launch, an inter-generational project with Trenewydd residential care home was initiated, and a sensory garden was jointly designed. Brecon Rotary supported the initiative by funding a horticulturalist periodically to support the project. The sensory garden proved an excellent vehicle for unlocking residents’ memories. The benefits of the sessions proved effective, as the children reacted in appropriate ways when faced with the symptoms of dementia. Other activities such as visits to museums, board games, and singing have brought the generations even closer together.
The success has spread like wildfire and there are currently plans to initiate a second inter-generational scheme.