This week has been an exciting time to be living and working in Kendal. A few months ago, Lakeland Arts joined forces with the Mayor of Kendal, Tom Clare, the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and Kendal Parish Church to establish the Kendal Dementia Action Alliance and Kendal is now the first town in Cumbria to be recognised as becoming dementia friendly.
The KDAA launched this week with many other organisations and businesses in town signing up to join. We were joined in Kendal by George McNamara from the Alzheimer’s Society who delivered a keynote speech putting our local action into a national context. If everyone knew a little bit more about dementia, and individually and collectively made small changes and accommodations, this could all make a huge difference to those many people whose lives are so adversely affected. Being a Dementia Friend helps to promote the message that it is possible to live well with dementia and we all have a role to play.
This time last year, we had a Dementia Awareness Week at Lakeland Arts during which staff across the whole organisation attended Dementia Friends sessions. Since then, Enriched by Moments, our programme of events and activity for people living with dementia has evolved – monthly moments in the gallery, weekly outreach sessions and a summer project which last year caught the attention of the BBC who filmed our group involved in ‘Following in the Footsteps of Joseph Hardman’. The photograph below shows the outgoing Mayor and the Mayor Elect, Chris Hogg, being presented with their Dementia Friends badges by Justine McCoy from the Alzheimer’s Society.
To find out more about Enriched by Moments, the Kendal Dementia Action Alliance and how to become a Dementia Friend, contact Anne-Marie at the gallery.