The Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever campaign to change people's perceptions of Dementia.
The programme aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the disease. Centrica is proud to be rolling out the programme across the organisation as part of our drive to become a Dementia Friendly Organisation.
There are currently 850,000 people living with Dementia in the UK, and this is expected to rise to 1 million by 2020. New figures from the Office for National Statistics has shown that in 2015 Dementia became the leading cause of death for the first time in England and Wales. So it’s more important than ever that we create Dementia Friendly communities, organisations and sectors so that people living with Dementia, our customers and our people, have better access to services to help them live well and independently for longer.
To become a Dementia Friend, our people have attended information sessions where our very own Dementia Friend Champions have delivered information about what the disease is (and what it's not), and how we might better support people in our communities. Through becoming Dementia Friends, our people have also committed to a range of social actions. These vary from wearing the Dementia Friends badge proudly on their lanyards, to volunteering to become a Champion, or simply changing the language they use when talking about the disease. These simple steps can make a real difference.
We’re thrilled to have reached 5,000 Dementia Friends and would like to thank our people throughout the business - whether in our head office, in one of our contact centres or our engineers out in customers’ homes for helping us reach this important milestone.
But the work doesn’t stop here. We’re committed to reaching our next milestone – 10,000 Dementia Friends - within the next few months and are making an impact across the industry. We've been asked to lead a group to seek out best practice and create guidance for the utilities industry as a whole (including water and telecoms as well as energy) to ensure that customers and employees have the best possible support in place.
In a recent debate in Parliament, the Prime Minister highlighted the Government’s commitment to transforming end-of-life care, including the ongoing work to invest in Dementia research and patient support. With growing numbers of people living with Dementia, it is vital that businesses, communities and Government work together to help people with Dementia live well for longer.