Essex Library Service secures “Working to Become Dementia Friendly” recognition 

Health / Wed 17th May 2023 at 08:22am

ESSEX Library Service has announced it has achieved Alzheimer’s Society’s Working to Become Dementia Friendly recognition.

The status applies across all 74 libraries across Essex and recognises Essex County Council’s commitment to improve the experience of people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers, when using Essex Libraries. 

Alzheimer’s Society looked at the work the service has done to improve its service to people affected by dementia. 

This includes training employees and volunteers, a commitment to helping them become Dementia Friends, setting up dementia groups in libraries and making links in communities with relevant partners.

Clare Young, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator in Essex, said: “I’ve been working with Essex Libraries, supporting them to be recognised as Working Towards Becoming Dementia Friendly and I’m delighted that they have now achieved this recognition. 

“It’s a testament to Essex Library Service’s hard work and its employees and volunteers. They have been enthusiastic about learning more about dementia and understanding how making small but important changes within the libraries can create a positive impact for people living with dementia when accessing their services.”

The recognition means Dementia Friends sessions will be run for employees and volunteers, raising awareness of the condition, and helping them to support customers and colleagues and signpost them to relevant support. 

Signage and accessibility at libraries will also be improved to minimise difficulties people may have visiting sites. 

The recognition will also help ensure there are better communication links for people affected by dementia, supporting customers more effectively.

Work will also take place to promote Essex Libraries’ dementia services, provide dementia friendly groups and feedback from customers will be incorporated.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, Essex County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance, said: “Essex Library Service is immensely proud to achieve this recognition from the Alzheimer’s Society. We have been working closely with them to make our libraries Dementia Friendly and have developed a plan to keep improving as we move forward.

“By making our libraries more accessible, we can help people living with dementia, as well as others who may have additional needs, to remain part of the community, be more active in the local area and live better, more fulfilled lives.” 

To find out more about Working to Become Dementia Friendly recognition, or the dementia support available in Essex, email [email protected] or visit www.essex.gov.uk/dementia/recognising-the-signs-of-dementia.  

Residents can also call the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Line on 0333 1503456 or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk


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