The Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) has joined up with the Alzheimer’s Society and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to help local communities across the county combat dementia in their local areas.
KALC’s signing of the strategic commitment on dementia complements the National Association of Local Council’s (NALC) own strategic commitment, which was signed at last year’s Annual Conference by Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC and Angela Rippon, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador and co-chair for the Prime Minister’s Champion Group on Dementia Friendly Communities.
Through the strategic commitment, KALC has committed to:
- help local (parish and town) councils develop the necessary awareness, skills and understanding to recognise and support people living with dementia;
- work together and with their local partners to help maintain and improve the general safety, health and well-being of people living with dementia, their families and carers;
- support Alzheimer’s Society in their quest to develop more Dementia Friendly Communities and Dementia Friends in line with the prime minister’s challenge on dementia;
- work with the Alzheimer’s Society and other recognised experts to share best practice and publicise effective policies, procedures, practices and training.
Jackie Swapp, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Kent and Medway said: “It is great to hear of the positive work happening in Kent, with KALC and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. This Dementia Action Week (21–27 May 2018), we are calling on everyone to unite and take actions, big or small, to improve the everyday lives of people affected by dementia.
“In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes and there are 23,921 people in Kent and Medway living with dementia. Almost everyone knows someone whose life has been affected. Yet too many people face the condition alone, without adequate support.
“Alzheimer’s Society is determined to change this and everyone has a part to play in creating the dementia-friendly UK, which is why it is so great to see KALC and Kent Fire and Rescue making this commitment to people affected by dementia. “
Cllr Sarah Barker, chairman of KALC, said: “We are delighted to work with the Alzheimer’s Society and Kent Fire and Rescue Service in raising awareness and increasing understanding about dementia. Some of our local councils are already involved in projects linked to raising dementia awareness. We will support them and all our member councils in helping to alleviate the effects of local people living with dementia.”
Sean Bone-Knell, director of operations for Kent Fire and Rescue Service and member of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Group on Dementia Friendly Communities, said: “We are delighted that KALC have joined blue light services and local councils in signing a strategic commitment to dementia, local councils are at the very heart of their community. I believe that with their valuable input and commitment we really can work towards building safer and more dementia friendly communities.”
Responding to the signing of the strategic commitment, Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “I’m delighted KALC have backed NALC’s dementia campaign by signing this important strategic commitment. We have a shared belief that local councils have the potential skills and understanding to make communities safer, more accessible and sustainable for all, with a vital role to play in supporting their communities to fight against this disease.”