HOW TO !! Create a dementia aware community Posted March 23, 2013 by Norrms


Creating A

Dementia “AWARE”



We believe that people with dementia have the right to a good quality of life and to remain independent in their local community.


We believe that people with dementia have the right to live well, engage in and contribute to their local communities as long as they wish to do so.


We will address negative attitudes and raise awareness and understanding of dementia.


(With Thanks to Jane Moore and the Camelford Dementia Action Alliance)


Hiya, Norrms here, as you know since our success in Torbay of creating a dementia aware community and having signed up nearly 450 Business’s so far I have been asked by many how its dome and how to maintain it. Here is, in Layman’s terms, how we did it here in Torbay. There`s no jargon, no meeting after meeting after meeting, after consultation, after risk assessment (You get the picture LOL) just action once its set up, and that’s the word you must always include in your name “ACTION” . This is how we started.


  1. 1.    First of all I asked around to find a FREE venue, a hall, church or community (The local fire brigade usually have one for free, just ask!!) Decide on a date/time of meeting and name of organisation.
  2. 2.    Then I e mailed EVERY COUNCILLOR in my town (You can find their e mails on the Local Town hall site) and also the mayor of course. I also e mailed the local Alzheimer’s society’s and care organisations, Health Authorities, and also friends and relatives who I knew were committed to making a difference. Not forgetting of course churches and church leaders, and church attendees. Also print off and advertise the event then post it in Churches, Post offices, Drs surgeries, care groups, memory cafes, memory clinics ect. A big must is to invite the Local Rotary Clubs, The masons and the Lions clubs as a lot of our voluteers are now made up of these people and their help is invaluable !!  You must also contact local papers and TV, very important to get them onside (when they realise what it’s for most people won’t ask for a fee)
  3. 3.    Ask all people invited to RSVP please as it will give you some idea of how many will turn up. Organise friends to set up tables ect on the day, tea coffee milk, bikkies  ect (Donations) and away you go !!
  4. 4.    On the day, please make sure you have a copy of “How TOO” (all attached to this mail for you to download) and everybody else who arrives is also given one along with an Agenda you should have ready. If you have lots turning up a good idea is to hold a raffle near the end just to start you off with funds.
  5. 5.    Explain at your meeting what you want to achieve, and in “APPROX” how long to do it. Explain that you are here to make people and business’s “Dementia aware” and not training people up to NVQ levels in dementia ect (So important to stress this) Explain that quite simply what you want to do is just walk into shops, business’s, cafes restaurants post offices ect ect and give them the Relevant documents and ask them to photocopy and give to all staff. Tell them it’s a trust thing (You are not the Dementia police LOL), and you will come back in a week’s time or so (Depending on the size of business) to award them their Purple Angel logo for the window to show the public that their staff care enough to read the documents and try to understand this disease a little better.  Explain that with just a little more knowledge of Dementia it can improve people lives hugely in their everyday living, talk with passion and commitment, get your point across!! Then, ask if there are any questions, and please be prepared for all comers.
  6. 6.    THE IMPORTANT BIT!! Now ask for a show of hands “Who wants to volunteer for the steering group and also volunteer for activities. Have someone who is good at taking notes next to you and ask them to write down people’s names and e mails ect.
  7. 7.    Once list has been made, thank all for interest, state a date/time of next meeting of steering group volunteers, hold the raffle, ask all to read all documents and then take a DEEP BREATH!! LOL
  8. 8.    Next meeting Organise and vote for a chairperson, a treasurer, and a secretary (You need to do this for Banking reasons 3 signatures on cheques) If you have councillors on your steering group (we have 5!”!) Ask about funding, donations ECT. Ask to organise an event, bring and buy, cake sale, afternoon tea dance ECT for funds for printing costs, ink ECT. Once you are Happy with all volunteers/ steering group organise the big day when you start to canvass your local shops ECT. Start in small areas around your town before the town centre, test the water first. Have teams of two going around the local areas, one to talk and the other to write down bushiness address and name of owner, and then my friend, you are ON YOUR WAY!!!!
  9. 9.    IS IT REALLY AS SIMPLE AS THAT?? YES!!!!!! It was here in Torbay and can be anywhere else in the country. We have now signed up OVER 400 Busuniess`ss here in Torbay !! I am so proud of my town !!!! Please remember when holding your meetings always ask people at the beginning of the meeting to leave their political views at the front door and pick them up on the way out!!  There is NO PLACE for politics in Dementia . Also only focus on what CAN BE DONE and don’t waste time talking about what’s NOT happened in the past! We can all do that!! Always keep a list of how many people have signed up with you and advertise it far and wide.


Footnote…..    There really are some wonderful people out there who want to help and will. Never lose heart and hope. But when asking for volunteers don’t forget to mention that “If anybody is applying for this post for the “Kudos” PRAISE or the “Pat on the Back” they need not apply. But those who want to do it because they care and want to make a difference to people lives, then please step forward. If you have any questions whatsoever please email me on

You can also keep up with our events here in Torbay by visiting our website


I really hope this helps, you will have hills to climb and battles to fight along your way, but you will get there in the end, have faith my friends, we can do this together, and please don’t hesitate TO contact me if need be, Good Luck my friends, Norrm`s (Diagnosed with dementia5 yrs ago aged 50 and still fighting it!!)

DementiaAwareLogo_c_CW_500 (2)

Documents and information to share with shops and busuniesses as follows

Revamped Guide to Dem symp

Re written what is dementia

Also “You Tube ” Video blog of “HOW TO ”


  • Create your own Dementia aware community - Norrms - Member blogs - Social Work Blog - Carespace from Community Care March 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    [...] Hiya, i am so pleased to say i have managed to put this together for all those who have asked me to. Its a "HOW TO" guide to creating a dementia aware community along with all the documents you need, the Purple angel logo and also the Video of our day in Torquay. We (the TDAA) have now signed up over 400 Busuniess!!! Here in Torbay !! I am so proud of my town, you CAN BE TOO !! I really hope this helps, its a really simple "guide to" with no jargon, just straight talking !!    All we ask is if you please keep us posted on your progress and to say we ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU !! Please ask any questions you like, and good luck !! Norrms and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxPLEASE SHARE [...]


  • Tracey chapman March 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Determined to get together with Dementia Cov & Wark to discuss.

    Thanks Norm.


  • Helen Bevan March 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Norrms. This is brilliant. My mum has dementia and I know how important your actions are. Please keep doing it and keep sharing your experiences and ideas with others. You are an inspiration to so many people


    • Norrms March 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you my friend, of course i will and for as long as i can, hope this helps others to do the same, please share xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  • Christine Michael March 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks Norrms, this is really good. A lady asked on yesterday if you have to ‘nominate’ a town to become dementia-friendly. As you’ve shown, the answer is no – you just do it! Great stuff.


    • Norrms March 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Thats exactly right my friend, less talk, more Action and just do ikt !! Thank you so much xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  • Maxine Bailey August 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Fantastic whats been achieved Norm.


  • Joy Watson November 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    The more i look ,the more i find. My husband and i are hoping to get Salford dementia friendly.
    The helpful sugestions ive just read about will be fantastic in getting us started .
    As you suggest , we are going to start small with our local town of Eccles.
    Its nerve racking, but boy very exciting.
    Can we let you know how it progresses ?
    Our first meet is next week with a lady who is setting up the Salford dementia action alliance, and we already have Hazel Blears our local MP on board.
    Hope to be in touch soon.


    • Norrms November 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Of course my wonderful firend, and please take the purple angel with you, not only in your heart but also all around Eccles and Salford, i am a Bolton lad born and bred, i just emigrated to Torquay 15 yrs ago LOLL so happy to be in touch, Norrms and family xxxxxxxxxxxx


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