This week we are celebrating the recent achievemnt of Bishop Auckland Town Council – the first in County Durham to receive official "Dementia Friendly" status recognition from the Alzheimer's Society.
After more than thirty years, Bishop Auckland has a Town Council once more. The old Bishop Auckland Urban District Council was abolished in 1974 as part of radical reorganisation of local government and power was devolved under the name of 'Wear Valley District Council' whose offices were transferred to the Civic Centre in Crook in the 1980's.
The Town Council was established in May 2007 and it is the desire of all the councillors to serve and promote Bishop Auckland and to give the town a voice whenever it is needed.
All councillors live in Bishop Auckland and party-political considerations are very much secondary to the well-being of their town. The Town Council has 11 elected Councillors, comprised of six Labour Party, three Wear Valley Independents,one Liberal Democrat and one UK Independence Party.
Bishop Auckland Town Council has been brought to NALC’s attention for its recent success in achieving “Dementia Friendly” status from the Alzheimer's Society. NALC is fully supportive of the work of the Alzheimer Society and of its Dementia Friends initiative and is pleased to see Bishop Auckland leading the way for other councils to follow.
It is the first council in County Durham to achieve “Dementia Friendly” status and to join the larger county wide initiative, County Durham Dementia Action Alliance.
Councillor Ann Golightly who is one of the Council’s Dementia Champions said:
‘Given that there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, we wanted to raise awareness and a greater understanding of the condition that can be devastating for those who live with dementia and their carers. Councillors voted unanimously to work towards a Dementia Friendly status and as a council we are committed to bringing about a society wide response in Bishop Auckland.’
The Council has two dementia champions who have created 150 new dementia friends so far in Bishop Auckland by delivering information sessions, and work closely with outside bodies such as The Alzheimer’s Society, Durham County Carers Support, Durham County Council Children & Adult Services and Auckland Park Hospital.
The Council has created a steering group ‘Dementia Friends of Bishop Auckland’ which is taking steps to enable Bishop Auckland to become a dementia friendly community. The aim of the group is to encourage service providers, businesses and organisations in the town to become dementia friendly. This involves increasing their understanding and awareness of dementia by doing very simple and practical things to support people living with dementia, creating a town where people with dementia feel safe and supported.
The Mayor of Bishop Auckland Councillor Lee Brownson said ‘This is excellent news for the Council and the town, not only are we more informed about dementia and the challenges associated with living with the condition, we can also support and promote social inclusion and more importantly give a strong voice to people with dementia and their carers.’
For more information about Dementia Friends of Bishop Auckland contact or for more information about dementia and Alzheimers visit The Alzheimer’s Society website.
NALC would like to congratulate Bishop Auckland Town Council on this fantastic achievement – highly deserving of a place as our Council of the Week.