Wigan 'most dementia friendly town in UK'

Credit: PA

Wigan Borough has been crowned the most dementia friendly town in the UK.

The prestigious Dementia Friendly Awards, hosted by The Alzheimer’s Society, named Wigan Borough as the winner of Dementia Friendly Community of the Year in the town category.

The honour comes after a huge effort to help the borough work towards becoming dementia friendly. This includes creating dementia friendly communities by encouraging people to become dementia friends and bringing together people affected by the condition with others in their local area.

This work has helped a wide variety of dementia friendly sessions such as swimming, dog walking and pub based groups set up based on what people actually want.

It has also seen memory making sessions spring up offering a weekly forum and place for people with dementia to meet up, learn new things and harness the power of nostalgia to help people reminisce.

The work has all gone on with the support of The Alzheimer’s Society, Wigan Council and Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group and has seen businesses, community groups and schools also play a role in helping to create communities which are good places for people with dementia to live and encourage them and their carers to continue to live independently and have a choice over their treatment.

The award is recognition too of the work being done through The Deal for Health and Wellness by creating a collaborative environment for services such as GPs and community spaces to all work towards supporting people with dementia.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, portfolio holder for adult social care and health, said:

We are thrilled that the hard work being put into making us a dementia friendly town has really paid off. Across the borough there are already so many Dementia Friends trained, dementia cafes and groups offering support and a wealth of services which mean people with dementia can still be independent and engaged in their own care. This is what our work comes down to – making sure that a diagnosis of dementia does not mean that someone ceases to be able to make their own choices or play a role in their community.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe