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Buttsbury Junior School has been awarded the first Dementia Friendly Schools award from the Billericay Dementia Alliance.
To achieve the award, pupils aged between 7-11 at the school had to meet and evidence five different outcomes over the academic year.
Outcomes included being aware of dementia and how it can affect others, sharing the dementia friendly message across their school community, reaching out to the elderly community and reflecting on how they can best understand and help other people.
As part of the award, which six local schools have already signed up to achieve, Buttsbury has also put together a two-year action plan to further increase understanding of dementia in the school and support the community.
Headteacher at Buttsbury Junior School, Ann Robinson said: “At Buttsbury, we have always had a strong link with The Ark Day Care Centre which provides support for people living with dementia so it was wonderful to be able to involve all the children and staff in our work towards the Dementia Friendly Schools Award.
“As a result, the children and staff have a good understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia and are keen to support family members and the local community in whatever way they can. Most importantly, the children are respectful and understanding towards people with dementia.”
Chairman of the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance and customer relationship manager at Anisha Grange and Hutton View Care Home, Carl Roberts said: “It was an absolute pleasure to present the first Billericay Dementia Friendly Schools Award to Buttsbury Junior School.
“To be able to award this during the pandemic also gives it a special meaning when we consider the number of carers and residents living with dementia who have been isolated during this time.
“Teaching the younger generations about dementia and raising awareness within the school will serve to create a truly dementia friendly Billericay for many years to come.
“Part of the stigma around dementia is the fear of the unknown and with these pupils fully committed to at least two years’ worth of work increasing that understanding and raising awareness across the primary schools in Billericay, it will help to remove the stigma and create positivity for changing the way we view dementia in the community.”
Billericay Dementia Friendly Schools Award lead and Dementia Friends champion, Maureen Lee said: “We launched the Billericay Dementia Friendly Schools Award in Autumn 2019, to the primary schools in the first instance. Over 250 children from eight primary schools are now Dementia Friends and their schools are working towards the five criteria for achievement of the award.
“I am delighted that their hard work and tremendous commitment has resulted in Buttsbury Junior being recognised as Billericay’s first Dementia Friendly School.”
For further information about the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance and if you would like to become a member please email [email protected]