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Forum holds Dementia Friends session

Md Ismael

THE TOWER HAMLETS Muslim Staff Forum (THMSF) held a Dementia Friends awareness session during a lunchtime seminar in the council chambers at Mulberry Place.

The session was delivered by Dementia Friends Champion Emdad Rahman, from the Attendance and Welfare Service. The event was well attended by a number of staff who shared their experiences and views.

The Dementia Friends initiative is led by the Alzheimer’s Society. It aims to increase dementia awareness and change the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about dementia.

You can become a Dementia Friend by attending a one hour information session and making a commitment to do something that will make the lives of people living with dementia a little bit better. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend and every action counts – from helping someone to find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia on social media.

In his role as a Dementia Friends Champion, Emdad has trained Mayor John Biggs, former Speaker Khales Ahmed, Councillor Amy Whitelock Gibbs and Chief Executive Will Tuckley. Next in line is Tower Hamlets Speaker Sabina Akhtar.

The THMSF was set up in January 2007. It promotes integration and better understanding between council employees as well as supporting the council’s Race Equality Scheme. THMSH chair Mohammed Zaman said: “We are very pleased to have hosted a seminar which not only raises awareness, but also puts into perspective how important our role is to help those in need.”

Robin Cowley, Attendance and Welfare Advisor said, “I found the session well-presented and informative. My thoughts are that my mother was 80 last April, and she has been diagnosed with dementia. She struggles with dementia and has carers visit twice a day. My relationship has changed as our roles have swapped and I find myself caring for her and help her manage the week.”

Staff who attended responded positively to the event and talked about how their awareness levels had risen. Everyone committed themselves to carrying out Dementia friendly actions, and those who attended were awarded a pin badge to confirm their new status as a Dementia Friend.

A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. Dementia Friends Information Sessions are run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champions like Emdad, who are trained and supported by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Each information session lasts around one hour. Those attending learn more about dementia and how they can help to create dementia friendly communities.

If you or your team would like to be trained to be a Dementia Friend, email Emdad Rahman on:
[email protected]

To find out more about Dementia Friends, go to:

•Read more about it:
Emdad Rahman: Running Down Dementia
Get Together Group Barking become Dementia Friends


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