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Dementia expert takes 'dementia friendly' message to 10 Downing Street

Posted on October 13th 2020

A PenARC colleague has met the Prime Minister to ask for his backing to help local councils become ‘dementia friendly’.

Ian Sherriff BEM, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia in the University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Health, travelled to Number 10 with fellow Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, journalist, and TV presenter Angela Rippon.

Ian, a leading figure in dementia policy and research nationally and internationally, discussed his work to make life easier for people with the condition, including a recent project with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Earlier this year, Ian and N.A.L.C  surveyed all 10,000 local (parish and town) councils to find out what support they were offering to people with dementia and their families in their communities.

Ian said: “Responses to the survey conducted with the University of Plymouth and N.A.L.C. were overwhelmingly in favour of the production of a dementia friendly guide for councils, and we are now ready to send this out to 10,000 Parish and Town Councils. I asked the Prime Minister to endorse our recommendations, as well as launch the guide from Number 10 in the coming weeks.

“I found the Prime Minister to be very personable and it’s clear he fully understands the issues around dementia. We were grateful to get one-to-one time with him, considering everything else that’s going on at the moment.”

Ian is a member of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly Communities Challenge Group (2013 to date) and chairs the Prime Ministers rural Dementia Challenge group (2015 to date). Projects in this area include training with the Dartmoor Rescue Team, as well as work with the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, Farming Community Network, R.A.B.I. the WI, Representatives from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, travellers communities, MP’s, Parish, Town, District and County Councils. He is a founder member and driving force behind Dementia Friendly Parishes around the Yealm, one of the first such initiatives working at a local council level, which has helped shape the new guide.  

Ian is Chair of the Dementia Air Transport Group (2016–2020), where he has worked with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the aviation industry and people with dementia to devise new,CAA,guidelines.

Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street


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