The Bristol charity on a mission to make the city 'dementia-friendly'

ITV News West Country spent the day with a Bristol charity hoping to take the stigma out of dementia.

A dementia charity is aiming to make Bristol a dementia-friendly city by training retailers to increase their awareness and creating safe spaces for people living with the condition to enjoy life.

Tony Hall set up Bristol Dementia Action Alliance after the death of his wife Barbara, who died in 2022 after being diagnosed with the condition.

He told ITV News those living with dementia are often stigmatised and treated as 'second-class citizens'.

The charity has been running sessions with shop owners to increase their understanding of the condition.

Lisa Dicker from Bristol Dementia Action Alliance said: "People with dementia and their carers and their families often feel stigmatised, misunderstood and because of that they stop doing things.

Claire Greenway and Oliver Starr from the Redland Bakery said they hope their signs around the shop will educate others about dementia.

"They stop going to the shops because it's just too difficult.

"We've been talking to retailers and it's smaller things like signage, that can really make a difference."

Shirehampton is the first dementia friendly village, where Claire Greenway and Oliver Starr run the Redland Bakery.

The mother and son team said it was a "no brainer" to take part in the training.

"We literally signed straight up for it", they said.

In their bakery they now have simple but effective signs to help those with dementia navigate their way around.

"We get a lot more people asking about the signs and what it represents and why we have signs showing the way out and things", Oliver said.

Research has found that a yellow background makes writing easier for someone with dementia to read.

"We're actually educating people as they come in as well because they come in and they're not sure what the sign's for and you tell them why and why you're doing it", Claire said.

Research has found that a yellow background makes writing easier for someone with dementia to read.

'I decided not to die from it but to live with it'

Derek Sowton is a 66-year-old artist who sells his craft work at the community market in Shirehampton.

He has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, which is a specific type of dementia.

"I made the decision not to die from it but to live with it", he said.

"I'm Derek who has Alzheimer's, I'm not Alzheimer's. I'm still Derek and still do all the things I've done for a long time.

"I might not always remember who you are but I'll smile and have a conversation.

Derek lives with Alzheimer's, a specific type of dementia.

"I've got little grandchildren and I'm worried that I won't get as long with them as I would hope.

"I am only 66 but I'm hoping to be able to be their pops for a long time, and play with them and know who they are."

Tony Hall was at the craft fair alongside Derek and said despite positive steps forward in people's attitudes around dementia, a lot still had to change.

"We've been doing this 10 years and we're scratching the surface", he said.

"We've got to change the thinking, behaviour and culture of people. We're not going to do that by next Friday.

"It's not going as fast as I'd like it but we are making a difference", he added.

Support and advice for those living with dementia or caring for those with the condition can be found here:

Bristol Dementia Action Alliance working towards enabling communities to become more dementia aware.

The Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456, which provides information and advice about dementia.

Dementia UK offers advice and support to families who are living with dementia.

Alzheimer's Research UK carries out dementia research but also answers questions about dementia and dementia research. The charity's helpline is 0300 111 5 111 and can provide help and guidance.

Age UK has advice on a range of topics. It runs a free national helpline on 0800 055 6112.

The Carers Trust provides information and advice on its website for carers.

Carers UK is a national charity for carers, providing information and advice from benefits to practical support.