Maesteg has become the county borough’s first dementia friendly town, with more than a dozen local businesses and organisations leading the way by completing training to show that they are better prepared to help people to live well with dementia.
Look out for the ‘Forget-Me-Not’ badges and stickers which will be on display at shops, banks and other businesses to show that they are dementia friendly.
The initiative, which was formally launched at the start of Dementia Awareness Week (15 – 21 May), is a joint effort between the Labour run Bridgend County Borough Council, the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, BAVO, Maesteg Town Council and other partners.
Certificates were presented at the Central Church in Maesteg to the first 12 local businesses and organisations to complete the dementia friends training: Tesco Maesteg, Lou Chi’s Tearoom, TSB Maesteg, Talgarth Bakery, Gwynns Optician Maesteg, Specsavers Maesteg, Natwest Maesteg, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Maesteg Police Station, BAVO, WI Maesteg and Maesteg Town Council.
Speaking at the event the Leader Cllr Mel Nott OBE said: “I’m proud that the authority is among the organisations that are working in partnership with the Health Board to deliver the Llynfi 20/20 project, which was established in 2013 to address health inequality in the Llynfi Valley.
“A key part of the project has been to establish Dementia Friendly Communities to reduce isolation and improve the health of people living with dementia.
“The recognition of Maesteg as being the county borough’s first dementia-friendly town marks a huge step towards developing further dementia-friendly communities throughout the area.
“Ultimately, we want to establish a network of communities where people who are living with dementia can experience respect, understanding and support wherever they go, and I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in helping us reach this milestone moment.
“Partnership lies at the heart of this initiative’s success, and in years to come I hope to see businesses and premises throughout the county borough displaying the Forget-Me-Not symbol.
“It is only by working together in partnership that we will be able to spread greater awareness of living with dementia, and help people to realise that life does not end when dementia begins.”
The launch event also featured speeches from Councillor Phil White – Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services, Health and Wellbeing, new Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies, BAVO Chief Executive Heidi Bennett and ABMU Health Board Acting Vice Chair Jan Janczewski.
Anyone who runs a business or organisation in Maesteg who would like to find out more about the training should call BAVO on 01656 810400 or the Alzheimer’s Society on 01656 647158.