Rail workers at Ipswich train as dementia friends

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Railway workers across Greater Anglia’s network have been training as dementia friends.

The Mayor of Ipswich, Roger Fern, along with representatives from the national charity, Alzheimer’s Society and the East of England Co-Op, delivered a training session to Greater Anglia colleagues at Ipswich station, where they are taught the essential points that would assist someone with dementia.

The train operator is currently piloting the training at four stations - Norwich, Ipswich, Chelmsford and Cambridge - with the aim of eventually rolling this out to all frontline staff. The course involves awareness training of dementia and its symptoms.

There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK – of which 82,000 live in the East of England, and 1700 live in Ipswich.

Andrew Goodrum, Customer Services Director, said: “We care about all of our customers and want to do all that we can to make them safe on trains and at our stations.

“We recognize the importance of this training and we are very grateful to the Alzheimer’s Society for providing the course for our colleagues. We are committed to supporting those living with dementia and it’s important that our stations and services are accessible to everyone.”

Training sessions last for an hour and are delivered free of charge by the Alzheimer's Society. At the end of the training the person trained becomes a Dementia Friend and gets a Dementia Friends badge. This badge is recognised by people with dementia and their carers and they are happy to know they are speaking to someone who has an awareness of their needs.