Rotary is named dementia friendly

Mirfield Rotary president Sue Charlesworth receives dementia friendly accreditation from Mayor of Kirklees Coun Paul Kane.

Mirfield Rotary president Sue Charlesworth receives dementia friendly accreditation from Mayor of Kirklees Coun Paul Kane.

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Mirfield Rotary has become the first club in Yorkshire to be named ‘dementia friendly’.

The accreditation was confirmed by Mayor of Kirklees Coun Paul Kane at a special ceremony last week.

Sue Charlesworth, the president who led the club through the process, said: “I feel quite passionately that people living with dementia and their families, need and deserve the best support and care available and most important of all, information as to where they can access facilities.

“The project is a long term one which will go on far beyond this Rotary year but we have been out there taking part in activities and raising awareness to help create a dementia friendly community in Mirfield.

“We have raised significant funds for dementia related charities and this work will continue together with helping the Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance (KDAA) in their community initiatives.”

Club members learned about the extent of the challenge many people face due to dementia with help from KDAA coordinator Elaine Bostock.

The club invited speakers, arranged a training session and some members chose to become “dementia friends”.

A decision was then taken to join the KDAA and agree on a plan, which led to Mirfield Rotary being accredited as the first dementia friendly club in Yorkshire.

There are currently around 180 dementia patients registered at the Mirfield Health Centre.

Once the diagnosis is established there are support mechanisms in place to help but a spokesman for the group said there were big gaps in the way people with dementia were supported.

He said many who provide public services – shop keepers, hair dressers, bus drivers – may not recognise the difficulties some people with impending dementia face.