Exeter businessman Simon Almond to support EDAA with their Dementia Interpreters training

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 10:16am

The Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) have partnered with Training2Care who are pioneers of the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) in the UK.

Training2Care have now created Dementia Interpreters training addressing the vital importance of communication and language in dementia support.

The Alliance is the first provider in the South West to deliver Dementia Interpreter sessions and the focus will be Exeter and surrounding areas.

Gina Awad - Alliance Lead - explains: “I am thrilled to be the local facilitator for this invaluable training and immersive experience. It’s really important for us to reach a variety of sectors and not be confined solely to health and social care.

"The training will broadly build understanding and empathy for the lived experience of dementia across the whole community. Compassionate approaches to dementia require practical knowledge and understanding of that experience and this is something the training will deliver.

"This project and programme grew out of the resources provided last year when the Alliance was chosen by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Yolanda Hensen as her charitable cause for 2022-23. The generous support has enabled the Alliance to obtain the rights to deliver this important training.

"We are also delighted to share that we have been kindly supported by Simon Almond, owner of DCW Polymers in Exeter during this first year of the project. He is enabling us to deliver nine monthly fully funded sessions for groups of 4 to 6 people throughout 2024. 

"All we ask is that attendees commit to providing 3.5 hours of their time, engage in the immersive session and share a testimonial of their learning.

"The training is potentially valuable to anyone but we do want to reach out to people caring for others professionally or personally. We also want this training to contribute towards a dementia-friendly community Exeter and will be providing sessions for people to develop their customer care to better support people living with dementia.

"Attendees will gain an invaluable experience of what it feels like to live with dementia with all of its potential communication difficulties.

"We are thrilled to be able to share these sessions across Exeter and our heartfelt thanks goes to Simon for believing in us and supporting our mission. In the coming weeks we will be contacting community groups, charities, businesses, the local authority, retailers, care homes and health and social care settings.

"We have 54 free places available to allocate so spaces are limited."

Simon Almond says: “My main reason for wanting to help Gina and the Alliance is her inspiring drive to make a difference for people with the disease.

"My grandmother developed vascular dementia after a fall - she had been the family rock for most of my life, she lost both her children to cancer (my mum and uncle) at a young age and stepped firmly into the role of mum and great friend to my sister and I, grandmother to her great grandchildren, and an overall inspirational human being.

"She survived brain surgery after the fall in her mid 90s but the damage was done and changes were sudden, taking a completely independent woman to almost total dependency at the end stages.

"I am delighted to be able to do my bit to raise awareness and support communication between people affected by dementia and others - whether loved ones, in care settings or in the wider community.”

Michael Peachey Associate Director of Training2Care added: “This is incredibly exciting news and we are extremely grateful to Simon for supporting Gina with this life changing work.

"We partnered up with Gina and the EDAA to roll out the life changing Dementia Interpreter course as they have a proven track record of undertaking some fantastic initiatives which has not only raised the profile and awareness of dementia but has genuinely helped to make the world a better place for all those affected by dementia.

"These Dementia Interpreter courses will further build on the amazing work already done by the EDAA.

"Effective communication is the key to being able to provide the right support to people and the innovative and immersive Dementia Interpreter sessions are by far the best way for people to learn and develop the knowledge and skills required to improve communication.

"These courses will also allow people to contribute to the innovative Dementia Dictionary project, a global resource helping people around the world to better understand people living with dementia.

"We could not be more excited to hear about the outcomes of the sessions and to hear about the impact we are sure they will make to all those lucky enough to take part”.

DCW Polymers is a resource recovery operation transforming unwanted waste plastics into high quality aspirational outdoor living products from decking to garden sofas, fencing and planters. We collaborate with lots of organizations to convert their waste plastics into sustainable products retaining the valuable resource, eliminating waste, creating skilled employment and  reducing the carbon impact.

For more information, to learn about the Dementia Interpreters training and be considered for a free training place contact Gina at exeterdaa@outlook.com

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