Next generation in Yorkshire taking part in dementia training

Middlestown Junior School pupil Harrison Barton takes part in a dementia friendly workshop. Picture by John Clifton.
Middlestown Junior School pupil Harrison Barton takes part in a dementia friendly workshop. Picture by John Clifton.
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A campaign to create a dementia friendly generation has seen children at a Wakefield primary school undergo special training.

In a bid to help reduce the stigma that results in many people with dementia experiencing loneliness and social exclusion, youngsters at Middlestown Junior School, in Cross Road, Wakefield, became trained ‘Dementia Friends’ yesterday.

The school has joined the Alzheimer’s Society charity and Public Health England in calling for others across West Yorkshire to get involved in the campaign by teaching children the basics of the condition and how they can support those affected.

Headteacher at the school Julie Tomlinson said: “As a school we are always looking to develop the whole child to teach them to be respectful, tolerant and empathetic citizens with an understanding of what is happening in their communities. Learning about dementia is part of this process.”

The Alzheimer’s Society in Wakefield has piloted a schools programme that has seen more than 140 Year Six pupils and six staff trained, with another six schools ready to take part. It hopes to have issued the training to more than 500 pupils and 20 members of staff by the end of the school year on the back of estimates that by 2025 one million people in the UK will have the condition which affects memory and understanding.

Wendy Porter, from the Alzheimer’s Society in Wakefield and the Five Towns, said: “The Alzheimer’s Society is urging all young people to become Dementia Friends and help beat the stigma that exists in our society today.”

Visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/youngpeople for details.

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