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100 ‘Dementia Friends’ at Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Dementia Friends Session

With approximately 850,000 people currently living with dementia in England, and the number of cases estimated to almost triple by 2050, the SS Great Britain Trust has worked with over 100 staff and volunteers to become Dementia Friends.

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about the condition. 

Leila Nicholas, Communities Officer at the SS Great Britain Trust, commented: “Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways in which individuals and businesses can help.

By creating over 100 Dementia Friends at Brunel’s SS Great Britain, we have taken the first steps towards becoming an open and accessible attraction for those living with dementia.  The sessions have supported staff and volunteers to understand more about the condition and to think about how we welcome and engage people, which helps to benefit all visitors.”

Mike, Education and Community Volunteer at the SS Great Britain Trust said: “Having watched my father suffer a rare type of dementia, I found the course helped me to understand my past experiences. The training has given me an invaluable insight into how people living with dementia experience certain situations – this has been extremely helpful while engaging with visitors through my volunteering role.”

Brunel’s SS Great Britain prides itself on being an inclusive and accessible attraction, regularly hosting events such as Autism friendly early openings and winning Europe’s Most Welcoming Museum Award 2019.

Tony Hall, Chair of the Bristol Dementia Action Alliance commented: “The SS Great Britain has taken tremendous strides to become more welcoming and inclusive. Creating over 100 Dementia Friends amongst its’ staff and volunteers is brilliant and helps us in Bristol DAA to make Bristol the Dementia Friendly City of the UK.”

World Alzheimer’s Day takes place on 21 September and is part of World Alzheimer's Month. World Alzheimer's Day is an international campaign to raise awareness and highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia. It's an opportunity for people and organisations to demonstrate how we can overcome these issues and help people live well with dementia.