Ridley & Hall Leading the Way on Becoming Dementia Friendly

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that over 1 million Dementia Friends have been signed up in England and Wales as part of the Alzheimers Society’s initiative and a new target of 3 million by 2020 has been set, Ridley & Hall Solicitors in Huddersfield have added a further 14 Dementia Friends to the tally at their recent session on 18th March 2015. Previous sessions have been held at the firm, based in Market Street, Huddersfield with over three quarters of the staff having participated and it is hoped that all staff will be signed up by the end of the year.  The latest session was led by Julia Cragie from Making Space.

Dementia Friends Session March 2015

It was announced in January 2014 that Ridley & Hall was the hundredth organisation, and one of the first law firms in the region, to join the Yorkshire & Humberside Dementia Action Alliance. As part of their original action plan, it was their aim to not only train the lawyers dealing with those living with dementia, their carers and families, but to also make the firm as a whole more dementia friendly. Dementia Friends sessions, professional development training and improving the office environment and signage have been key in enabling them to meet their objective.

As the result of their initial training, two of the lawyers have gone on to become Dementia Champions who have delivered information sessions to other groups across Kirklees and West Yorkshire and have created an additional 130 Dementia Friends. Adam Fletcher, Managing Partner, and Helen Webster are founder members of Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance (KDAA) which launched in May 2014 and has subsequently signed up over 40 organisations in the district which include care providers, the local authority, professional services, charities, retailers, emergency services and transport providers. KDAA has signed up hundreds of Dementia Friends in less than a year.

Anybody can become a Dementia Friend. It is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition.

The sessions have assisted the lawyers working with those diagnosed as living with dementia but it has also identified that a variety of the staff are caring or have cared for someone with the disease.

Dementia Friends logoTrainee solicitor, James Clarkson, who attended the latest session said, “It was good to dispel the stigma that often surrounds those living with dementia and learn more about the simple steps we can take to assist them. It was enlightening to learn that, although it is a progressive disease, it is in fact possible to live well with dementia.” Managing Partner, Adam Fletcher added, “It is great how the staff have taken the cause to heart and I would urge all business owners, individuals and groups across the community to  embrace the Dementia Friends initiative and make a difference to all those living with dementia in Kirklees.”

Ridley & Hall is recognised in the Legal 500 for its private client services and should you or your family need assistance on dementia related issues, please contact us on 01484 538421 and ask to speak to a member of the team.