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AMBS colleague creates her 1,000 Dementia Friend!

(15 February 2018)

Earlier this week Dementia Champion Michelle Kipling, Alliance Manchester Business School, created her 1,000th Dementia Friend, a tremendous accomplishment in just over three years.

Michelle completed her training to become a Dementia Champion at the end of 2014. In the 44 training sessions she’s held since this time, she has now equipped 1,004 people to become Dementia Friends, giving them the knowledge and guidance to understand more about dementia, and learn about the little ways they can help.

Dementia Friends is part of Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities programme which focuses on improving inclusion and quality of life for people with dementia. Over two million people have become Dementia Friends in the UK and, at The University of Manchester, Michelle is one of around 30 Dementia Champions providing information sessions so people can become Dementia Friends.

Many of Michelle’s sessions focus on large groups of people from a wide range of businesses and organisations. For example, she has trained Transport for Greater Manchester staff as part of their mandatory diversity training so that all staff in any interchange across the Greater Manchester area is a dementia friend, Bolton Wanderers Football Club staff, and hundreds of children within the Scout movement.

Michelle said: “It’s amazing to think that, in just 45 minutes, a Dementia Champion can provide the basic information that really demystifies what dementia is, and shows people how they can make small changes that make a huge difference to people living with dementia. By making little changes we really can help people with dementia to feel included in the world around them, and remain an active part of their community.

“When you’re working with children, such as Scouts, it’s also great to know that you’re a part of an initiative that’s creating a new generation of people who are dementia-aware, especially when in Greater Manchester alone there are around 27,500 people with dementia, a figure that’s predicted to increase in the coming years.”

Charlotte Adams, Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Regional Officer, said: “Reaching 1,000 Dementia Friends is amazing! From experience, it is a small number of Champions who will reach so many people.”

To celebrate Dementia Action Week, 21-27 May 2018, Michelle plans to arrange a training session for University staff who would like to become Dementia Friends. We will share the date in eNews.

  • Dementia Friends is one of the University's Social Responsibility flagship programmes. You can find out more about becoming a Dementia Champion or Friend on StaffNet.


Photo of Michelle Kipling