Oakwood Students Become Dementia Friends

Students from Oakwood Primary Academy have joined the 1 million strong group of individuals who are becoming Dementia Friends! The Alzheimer’s Society: Dementia Friends programme is the biggest initiative ever launched to change perceptions of Dementia. 

A group of Year 5 Oakwood students, who recently gained ‘Dementia Friends’ status, volunteered at The West Yorkshire Playhouse for their Dementia Friendly performance of Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. 

Nicky Taylor from West Yorkshire Playhouse organised the first dementia friendly play last year, White Christmas: Following on from its success a relaxed stage adaptation of Ian Flemings Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang was launched. 

Nicky has been working in collaboration with Oakwood students to develop Dementia friendly workshops in school.  Students who took part got the opportunity to give support at the production, selling ice-creams, clearing up litter, and talking to audience members.  Nicky said: “I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone from Oakwood for your amazing contribution to our Dementia friendly performance today.  It was brilliant to see everyone so engaged and for the audience, staff and volunteers to be connected through this experience.”

Head of School Jo Speak and Year 5 teacher Mrs Minnikin escorted students to the performance, and said: “Oakwood children were so well received, polite and all round great ambassadors for the Academy, students were extremely proud of their new status as Dementia Friends, and it was wonderful to see them interacting with audience members and supporting our Co-operative values of equality, and helping others.”

The Dementia Friends programme aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about Dementia, and anyone can be a dementia friend.  Here are our three top tips for being a Dementia Friend:

-          Volunteering for an organisation that helps people with Dementia.

-          Wearing a dementia friend badge and telling five friends about the Dementia Friends initiative.

-          Carrying out a personal action e.g. being more patient when out in the community.

You can find out more by visiting the Dementia Friends website at https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/