The Forum Shopping Centre – Dementia Friendly Community Sittingbourne
Ive nominated The Forum Shopping Centre for its efforts in becoming one of the first shopping centres in Kent to be recognised as “working to become part of a dementia friendly community”. .
The project started back in June 2014 when one of the cafés began supporting the running of Dementia Friendly Cafés at which Dementia Friends sessions were run throughout the year. It was then noted that other changes could be implemented to motivate the Forum’s journey to becoming a Dementia Friendly Community.
Management and staff at The Forum recognize that some of their customers are living with dementia and in the past have experienced first-hand behaviours that may be seen to challenge others.
The Forum are making it their aim to enable people living with dementia to feel safe and supported in the community particularly in their stores and communal areas to promote confidence, individuality and independence.
The Forum hosted the first dementia awareness event ever to be held in Sittingbourne, it saw the bringing together and showcasing of all local dementia services, as well as running workshops and public readings and talks given by people living with dementia. The Forum is now committed to running these events annually.
The Forum has also made The Alzheimer’s Society their charity of the year
The Forum’s plans for 2015 – 2016 are to train all relevant retail staff in Dementia Awareness in Retail. We have been working together with customers who are living with dementia and use the Forum on a regular basis to identify the challenges that face them when shopping alone.