Crawley gets its first Dementia Ambassador

jpco 18-6-14 New Mayor Brenda Smith  (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140616-152638001
jpco 18-6-14 New Mayor Brenda Smith (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140616-152638001
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Councillor Brenda Smith has been appointed Crawley Borough Council’s first Dementia Ambassador.

Mrs Smith (Lab, Langley Green) is the primary carer for her husband, Alderman Jim Smith, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2009.

The role will see her become a non-political ambassador to promote dementia services and champion the cause of the dementia-friendly community in Crawley.

She said: “As the Mayor of Crawley last year I raised more than £10,000 for Alzheimer’s Society – Crawley Services, which is a cause very close to my heart.

“I’m delighted to be able to continue this work as Crawley’s Dementia Ambassador because it reflects my commitment to raise the profile and remove the stigma of this disease, while improving and increasing local services.”

She was appointed to the role by the leader of the council, councillor Peter Lamb.

Crawley has been a leader in the dementia friendly movement over the past two years, improving service provision for people living with dementia. This work was rewarded with Dementia Friendly Crawley winning the Local Initiative category at the National Dementia Friendly Awards in 2014.

Another success is the Forget-Me-Not Club, which was established to provide advice and support for people caring for someone living with dementia.

The club is supported by the Crawley Dementia Alliance, which is a collective group of local organisations whose aim is to support and improve the quality of life for people who live in Crawley and who are affected by any form of dementia – whether as a patient or carer.

Mr Lamb (Lab, Northgate) said: “I’m keen that we build on the good work already being done in Crawley and Brenda is the best person to take this forward, promoting the dementia friendly services in Crawley and the work of the alliance.”

For more information about Dementia Friendly Crawley and the Crawley Dementia Alliance call 01293 585317, email dfc@crawley.gov.uk or visit www.crawley.gov.uk/dfc

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