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Boots celebrates colleagues becoming Dementia Friendly in Wales

19 April 2018

Cabinet Secretary, Vaughan Gething, and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru join Boots as they celebrate colleagues becoming Dementia Friends across the country

As part of its continued commitment to caring for communities across Wales, Boots UK yesterday celebrated the fantastic achievement of having a ‘Dementia Friend’ in every Boots store in Wales.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, and Assembly Members from across all parties joined local Boots colleagues at an event to recognise and celebrate the business’ work to support the Dementia Friends movement, and to help bring more awareness and understanding to this condition.

Recent research carried out by Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative  shows that a large number of people in the UK do not think society is geared up to support people with Dementia, and 67%* of those with dementia say they do not always feel part of the community. Alzheimer’s Society launched its biggest ever initiative, Dementia Friends, in November 2012 to change people’s perceptions. It aims to transform the way everyone thinks, acts and talks about the condition.

To support its Dementia Friends ambition Boots UK has been focusing on providing all colleagues in Wales with the necessary information to help them become a Dementia Friend. Supported by these learnings, Boots colleagues can offer great care for people living with dementia and their families in the heart of their communities.

L-R: Emma Hodnett, Fiona Price, Nia Francis, special guest Linda Willis, Jordan Probert, Hannah Williams, Helen Watkins, Dawn Wynne

All Boots Dementia Friends colleagues wear a badge so that they are easily recognisable as someone who can help make a visit to a store or practice a little easier for those living with, or affected by Dementia. The simple gesture can make a real difference, as having an easily identifiable sign of understanding, can help those living with Dementia to feel at ease and cared for within their community.

Andy Francis, Acting Stores Director for the South Division - Boots UK comments:“Boots is uniquely placed to support those who are affected by dementia. Through our national network of pharmacies, opticians and hearing care practices, and with the help we give to our patients and customers, we care immensely for our communities that we serve. I am very proud of our teams in Wales and how they have embraced this initiative with such energy and are now practising it daily through their interactions with customers.”

Jayne Bryant AM, Assembly Member for Newport West comments: “I am thrilled that Boots has taken this step to support their colleagues in becoming Dementia Friends.  Importantly, decisions made by big companies like Boots can make a real difference to both staff and the local customers and I hope other big businesses in Wales will follow suit.”

“Boots provide crucial services for people of all ages and ensuring that staff have the necessary knowledge to identify the signs and symptoms that someone living with dementia may display and being sensitive to their needs can make a significant difference to not only them, but their families too.  

Sue Phelps, Director at the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru adds; “We’re delighted to hear about Boots’ ambition to support all of its teams in Wales to become Dementia Friends. The Dementia Friends programme aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is working with businesses and organisations across Wales to create a society where people affected by dementia are able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.

“By championing the rights of people living with the condition we will transform the landscape of dementia forever – together we will create a truly dementia-friendly Wales. Thank you, Boots, for uniting against dementia with us.”

Sue Phelps, Andy Francis and Jayne Bryant AM

Boots UK has supported its colleagues to become Dementia Friends since 2014, and is working to extend the Dementia Friends learnings to all of its patient and customer facing colleagues.



*Dementia Friends: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/download/downloads/id/1390/alzheimers_society_dementia_2012-_executive_summary.pdf