Alton became the first town in East Hampshire to become Dementia Friendly at a launch in the Community Centre on 1st July 2014. Many dementia and care organisations attended and since then over forty high street retailers have signed up to the Dementia Friendly Initiative. This means that they will display a dementia friendly sticker in their windows to show people that their staff have been trained to provide appropriate help and support to people with dementia and their families.
Councillor Graham Hill, Alton Town Mayor, who attended the event said: "Alton has always been a friendly town and I am very pleased that so many retailers have made it particularly welcoming for people with dementia".
Sarah Gardner the Local Area Co-ordinator for Dementia Friendly Communities said: "Two thirds of people diagnosed with dementia live within the community. Launching Alton as a Dementia Friendly town demonstrates a firm commitment from local retailers and residents to support people with dementia in retaining their independence for as long as possible."
Karen Murrell of ‘training4healthcare’ representing the Alton Chamber of Commerce and Industry has since become a Dementia Ambassador for the town and is pleased to be joining the team who will take on role of Secretary within the Dementia Action Group and co-ordinate Dementia awareness training for the Town of Alton.
“There are over 20,000 people diagnosed with some form of dementia in Hampshire alone. So this initiative for Dementia Friendly High streets is a much needed one. A lot of hard work has been put into the Alton launch and I’d like to say thank you to everyone I have worked with on this campaign – because awareness is what its all about.”
Terry Eccott - Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and newly appointed Dementia Ambassador for Hampshire