Norse Group staff from around the country took up the challenge against dementia during Dementia Awareness Week in May with a number of events and fund raising initiatives.

In Barnsley, staff have now successfully created 50 dementia friends – who largely work in front line roles such as caretakers, cleaners and porters – and are actively working with the South Yorkshire Dementia Action Alliance to support local events within the community.

And over at NPS Barnsley, Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support (BIADS) has been selected as the company’s chosen Charity of the Year.

A dementia friendly training session held in Norwich led to a number of people wishing to volunteer in NorseCare homes under the Group volunteering policy and NorseCare staff were among 100 people who gathered on the steps of The Forum in Norwich to show their commitment to making the city dementia-friendly.

In addition, staff at NPS London and Norwich raised around £250 for charity – with staff in London popping into a local day centre to chat to residents – and Newport Norse teamed up with the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society to hold a tea dance at Newport Market pictured above.

The event was not only a chance to get a cuppa and a slice of cake, but also to have a singsong, listen to poetry, learn simple exercises, have a dance and make connections within the community.

Along with members of the local Alzheimer’s Society, local community officers and representatives of several community groups were there to offer advice, support and raise awareness about early symptoms and the impact dementia can have.

The event was organised by Newport Norse Dementia Champion, Diane Shaw, who said:

“We had a very strong turnout and we received lots of positive feedback and requests for repeat events to be held in the market space in the future. Newport Norse was very happy to play our part in raising the profile of the impact dementia is having in our community.”

Newport Norse staff member Stephen Wilkes, whose mother Barbara died recently, donated £130 to the Alzheimer’s Society to add to £145 raised during the tea dance.

Stephen asked for donations in lieu of flowers and these, in turn, were passed on to the charity. Well done Diane – and thanks very much Steve!