One Voice Creates 173 Dementia Friends in Nine months
One Voice, through the Baiter Sehat campaign in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council created over 170 friends since summer 2015.
The community organisation took this accomplishment to a heightened level when they created over 100 Dementia Friends in a day at local school in March 2016.
More recently, Sadia Rafiq became the latest Dementia champion after a training session in Preston. She will be delivering Dementia Friends meetings over the next 12 months. Read more
Dementia Friends is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the UK. Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion.
Offering education and training on dementia for businesses, their employers, and the community as a whole promotes a culture of awareness and helps transform attitudes towards the disease.
Baiter Sehat Operational Lead, and Dementia Champion, Zaheer mahmud said,
“We have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with our community in this very important subject. We have had an outstanding response from the individuals who have gone onto become ‘Friends’. We would like to think this is just the start of our activity on dementia and aim to raise awareness of this condition in future campaigns.”
More Friends through Multi Lingual Talk
A women’s group were the beneficiaries of the latest Dementia Friends session delivered by One Voice. The Khadijah Social Group, based in Blackburn, was given a 90-minute talk by Dementia Champion Zaheer Mahmud. The session was conducted in English, Urdu and Punjabi to accommodate the dozen ladies who participated.
The session was delivered as part of the Dementia Friends awareness exercise and all 12 ladies have become Dementia Friends and will promote the area of dementia to their extensive family and friends.Dementia is part of the Baiter Sehat project, delivered by One Voice in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
Nurjaha Patel, who attended the session said, “It was very well delivered. To be able to talk numerous languages really helped the ladies. It was very informative. To be honest with you I thought it was part of the process of age. I wil share this with others in the community.”
One Voice Lead Becomes Dementia Friend
Operational Lead of the Baiter Sehat project Zaheer Mahmud is now a Dementia Friends Champion.
As part of the Dementia work, in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Zaheer will be conducting a number of Dementia Friends sessions in the local communities. The informative talks give a greater understanding of what it is like living with dementia, and turn that understanding into action.
Zaheer has already conducted his first Dementia Friends presentation with a group of young people.
These were some of the comments:
‘Dementia is not just linked with old age, there are over a 100 types of dementia such as Alzheimers.’
‘Dementia is a mental illness/diseases of the brain. It is possible to live well with dementia, however it is a progressive illness. It is important to be understanding, sympathetic and patient towards people diagnosed with dementia.’
One Voice is also working to create Dementia Friends among businesses and organisations in Blackburn and Darwen. Zaheer Mahmud said, “I am really proud to be spreading the message about Dementia and living with Dementia. Our community needs to be aware that this is a very serious illness and needs to be picked up at an early stage. Those living with Dementia require our continued support.
“I originally became a Dementia Friend as part of the One Voice commitment to the project. But I was really passionate about taking this into our community – and so I have become a Champion.”
To read more about his first session and the creation of young Dementia Friends, click here.
One Voice are Dementia Friends
One Voice, through the Baiter Sehat campaign, will be helping to deliver the Dementia Friends sessions directly to the BME community in Blackburn and Darwen and creating more Dementia Friends.
The One Voice team attended a Dementia Friends session, and officially became Dementia Friends. The 90 minute Dementia Friends Session was delivered by Lynette Banister in Witton Park Academy on July 31.
Zaheer Mahmud, Operations Manager of One Voice said, “As someone who attended a Dementia Friends workshop, I was thankful to have learnt a better understanding of how someone with dementia perceives life. The workshop was fantastically delivered especially for my better understanding of own uncle’s illness of dementia. I would recommend everyone to become a Dementia Friend.”
Shabnum Ahmed, Outreach Worker for One Voice found the session extremely insightful.
“I found the session informative and simple. It taught me comprehensive information about dementia and how to understand people’s perspectives who suffer from it. Before I attended the session I had very little information on dementia. It was delivered in a great way with small activities and was easy to understand.”
Tariq Hussain is a Dementia Friend after attending a Dementia Friends workshop. Tariq said, “I look after my father who is 90-years-old and suffers from dementia. I found the workshop very refreshing and interesting especially to know we are not alone.”
One Voice members Fatima Dhira and Aisha Seedat became Dementia Friends in August after attending a Dementia Friends workshop.
Fatima said, “I walked into the building with very little knowledge about dementia. I didn’t understand the disease or even how it affected people. I was surprised that many of the attendees had the same amount of knowledge as me.”
Aisha said, “One thing about dementia that I had always wondered was what the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia was. By the end of the course I was loaded with knowledge on how to help someone with dementia and all the questions I had were answered.”
Dementia Awareness in the Community
One Voice took part in a community Funday on Sunday 5th July, organised by Al-Imdaad Foundation to support the refugees in Rohingiyan.
As part of Phase Three of the award winning Baiter Sehat project, One Voice featured information on Dementia and Organ Donation at the event. We were able to provide valuable information and talk to people directly about the importance of Dementia Awareness, as well Organ Donation.
Since the launch of ‘It’s about Time,’ a campaign to raise awareness of Organ Donation in the BME community of Blackburn and Darwen, the community has wanted to learn more about Organ Donation and has engaged wholeheartedly in the discussion of this sensitive topic. Dementia is part of the Phase 3 section of the campaign. And attendees at the Funday were handed literature and encouraged to attend future One Voice events to learn more about the condition.
The aim of the Baiter Sehat project, which is in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, is to deliver both community education initiatives and integrate information into existing health promotion activity in the local BME community.