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Dementia Friendly Southwark

19 November 2014
Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle Southwark’s Labour council has taken an important step forward in its manifesto commitment to become an Age Friendly borough, by working to make the community dementia friendly. 

This week’s Southwark’s Labour cabinet agreed to join the newly created Dementia Action Alliance, set up by the council earlier this year, which is an exciting partnership with the local NHS agencies, voluntary sector, commercial, sports and arts organisations in Southwark working together to improve the lives of people with dementia in the area, as well as their carers. It is hoped that the joint work of these groups, who all share a common commitment to become more dementia friendly, will improve the quality of life for many people in Southwark, either living with, or caring for, someone with dementia. The DAA is chaired by local voluntary organisation Dulwich Helpline & Southwark Churches Care.

The Labour Cabinet also committed the council to formally sign the National Dementia Declaration, which has been drafted by people living with dementia and their supporters, to recognise the need for the whole country to become dementia friendly. 

Dementia remains one of the most significant public health challenges in Southwark. The Department of Health already estimates that there are over 1,800 people in Southwark living with dementia and it is a growing problem due to the borough’s aging population. The council is therefore committing to become dementia friendly, to improve the lives of people living with dementia in Southwark. As part of Labour’s commitment to become an Age Friendly borough the council will be opening a new user-designed, state of the art day centre for older people with dementia, which is due to open next year.

Southwark Labour’s cabinet member for adult social care, Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, has trained as a Dementia Friends Champion and will be inviting all councillors and council staff to become Dementia Friends, to learn more about what it is like to live with dementia and then turn that understanding into action, to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in the community. The council has also supported the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver Dementia Community Roadshows in Peckham, giving staff and members of the public the opportunity to learn more about dementia, as well as helping to promote the benefits of an early diagnosis.

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle said:

“I’m delighted to be taking this important step to make Southwark Dementia Friendly, as part of Southwark Labour’s manifesto commitment to become an Age Friendly borough. The council is demonstrating it’s commitment this issue by signing the National Dementia Declaration, and working with the Dementia Action Alliance - a great community based initiative involving a whole range of organisations in Southwark, working together to improve the lives of people living with dementia, and their carers.

“As a Dementia Friends Champion I will also be encouraging all councillors and council staff to sign up to become Dementia Friends and personally commit to improving the lives of people living with dementia.”


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