Eric Ollerenshaw column: Dementia Friends aims to raise people’s awareness

Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Eric Ollerenshaw MP

Last week the Alzheimer’s Society was in Westminster to highlight its Dementia Friends initiative.

Dementia Friends aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015.

The intent of this campaign is to make areas such as ours more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of the 800,000 people across the UK who are currently living with this condition.

I was happy to pledge my support for this campaign, which will hopefully raise awareness and help to tackle the stigma that is sometimes attached to dementia.

I have to say that I listened to the best explanation of this disease I have ever heard and some good and practical guidance as to how to respond to people with the disease.

It is also why the current review of Alzheimer provision by Lancashire Care needs to be considered very carefully particularly when their final proposals are available.

If you would like further details of the Dementia Friends campaign you can find it @ www.dementiafriends.org.uk and for info on the work of the Alzheimer’s Society please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.

I also managed to get a reassurance from the Secretary of State for Transport that the 40 new carriages promised for the transpennine routes are still on target for delivery at the end of this year into the beginning of next year. Another demonstration that the spend on HS2 will not interfere with all the existing and planned investment in the current network.

I am also reminded by Coun Richard Rollins that there is a draft railway strategy up for consultation until October 21 – www.railstrategynorth.com.

Richard has been campaigning to get responses proposing the electrification of the Lancaster-Morecambe line.

This is totally cross party and has the backing of the council, Morecambe Town Council and Lancaster/Morecambe rail user group and your MPs.