A drive by pupils has seen Longton-based St. Paul’s CofE Primary School become the first Dementia Friendly school in Stoke-on-Trent.
Not only has the school become the first in the city, but also the first within the Lichfield diocese.
The drive has been fronted by staff member Miss Rollin, who initially organised fundraising activities to support Approach Staffordshire and The Alzheimer’s Society, which then evolved into pupils visiting a local care home to spend time with people suffering from dementia.
Becoming a Dementia Friendly School means adhering to three criteria – embarking, embedding, and extending – which empowers staff and pupils alike about dementia and how they can recognise and support people in their communities.
Following a grant of £10,000 from Severn Trent Water, the school has also recently completed a brand-new community-focused extension which has become a hub for their dementia-themed activities.
Cllr Ally Simcock, cabinet member for adult social care and health said: “I was delighted to recently attend St. Paul’s, and hear about the incredible work the staff and the pupils have undertaken to become the first Dementia Friendly school, not only in the city but also the Lichfield diocese.
“By giving young people knowledge about dementia and having them interact with people with this condition we can help them better understand it and also empower them to be more compassionate within different parts of their community.
“I also spoke to two pupils who were heavily involved in delivering various activities and their enthusiasm was truly infectious.”
Hayley Boult, Teacher and Christian Distinctiveness Lead at St Pauls CE Primary School said: “We’re extremely proud to become the first Dementia Friendly school in the Lichfield Diocese. St Pauls began this project 12 months ago, working with the Ormiston Academy with PSHE lessons about dementia and understanding different generations.
“The children learned about dementia and we also had a visit from Approach Staffordshire, which then morphed into organising two events. Firstly, we had a crafts workshop with our year five’s then we had an event, organised and managed by three pupils, and collectively they raised £400 which was split between Approach and Alzheimer’s UK.
“We had a link with the Lichfield Diocese who mentioned if we would be interested in becoming a dementia-friendly school, given all the activities we were taking on. This is an incredible honour and will provide a fantastic platform for our children to be compassionate parts of their local community.
“All the children involved have undertaken 25 hours of social action, raising awareness of dementia as well as interacting with different communities. The children have also attended Claybourne Care Home, creating memory boxes and interacting with the residents which were extremely well received.”
Find out more about becoming a dementia-friendly community – https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-friendly-communities/how-to-become-dementia-friendly-community
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