90 Cub Scouts now Dementia Friends

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90 members of the 1st Kesgrave Cub Scouts are now Dementia Friends having taken part in a special dementia friends training session led us and in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society Suffolk and Sue Ryder.

Our Community Engagement Manager and Dementia Friends Champion Sharon Harkin, jumped at the opportunity to deliver a Dementia Friends session to young people. Having been working on the our Dementia Friends initiative over the past two years, Sharon had already helped to create a bespoke training programme for pur 4,700 colleagues, which we are now sharing with other groups and organisations in our region. 

Sharon said: “It’s really important to talk honestly about dementia to help young people understand that dementia is caused by a disease and that they can still be involved in helping a person live well with dementia.

“Dementia can create some challenging situations for families and home life can become difficult with parents trying to cope with their own feelings, difficult decisions and possibly the practicalities of caring for relatives living with dementia. 

“They may be tired, irritable or simply not home as much. Gran or Granddad might forget the child’s name or even who they are. They may do strange things like put the iPad in the freezer.”

Sharon was joined by fellow Dementia Friends Champions, Jan Barker from Sue Ryder and Sue Vincent from the Alzheimer’s Society Suffolk.

Alzheimer's Society is part of The Scout Association's ‘A Million Hands’ programme which encourages members of the Scouting movement to take social action in their local community.

A Million Hands offers Scouts the opportunity to choose an issue that they are passionate about and take action on it, as part of working towards their Community Impact badge. Scouts can learn more about dementia, link with people affected by dementia in their community and give their time and energy to help.

Karen Trickey, Cub Scout Leader, Wolsey Pack 1ST Kesgrave Scouts said: “As a group we work closely with our community here in Kesgrave. We chose to support Dementia care due to the increase in people being diagnosd and that all of us could come across or know someone living with the disease in our lifetime. 

“The Cubs are at the right age to learn, understand and recognise differences in others and how to support them. Everyone who took part in the Dementia Friends session thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have learnt something new to take back to their families and wider community. We will continue to support those living with Dementia to have a good and safe life.”

Sharon continued: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from all the young faces staring back at me but the Cubs were amazing - they sat still for nearly an hour and were so engaging and afterwards were very proud to wear their stickers so that people knew that they were now Dementia Friends.