Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance (KDAA), which helps improve the lives of people with dementia, is a national finalist for a prestigious national award.
Building on recent local success over the last 15 months, KDAA has successfully reached the finals of ‘Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative’ from more than 300 applicants across England and Wales by demonstrating Kirklees as a community working towards a “Kinder Kirklees” and a compassionate community.
Councillor Viv Kendrick, Portfolio Holder for Prevention, Early Intervention and Vulnerable Adults, commenting on the nomination said: “As a council and a community we are delighted to be recognised as one of the communities working hard to make Kirklees a very dementia friendly community. Our partners, stakeholders and local people have given great support to KDAA and its work since it began in May 2014, so it’s a community achievement we should all be proud of.”
KDAA has more than 100 members and partners including the council, healthcare providers including all 29 member practices of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and members of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups, health trusts, police and local businesses, including bus companies, taxi firms and individuals. KDAA receives funding from both CCGs and Kirklees Council to deliver specialist projects for people with dementia and their carers.
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “It is amazing how great the local response has been to the dementia friend initiative. The number of organisations signed up to support this worthy cause has been overwhelming. It is a great feeling to have our community effort in the finals and recognised by the Alzheimer’s Society. It is just the start and we hope to improve on what we have achieved so far in the coming months and years.”
Vicky Dutchburn, Head of Strategy, Business Planning and Service Improvement for NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of all of the hard work and commitment of the Alliance, the Kirklees partnership, members and supporters who have helped to make Kirklees a Dementia Friendly community.
As part of a dementia priority scheme for 2015, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG currently has 34 practices, covering a population of 231,000, signed up to the ‘Dementia Friendly Community Initiative’. As a CCG we have made a longstanding commitment to people with dementia and their carers’ families. We are especially keen to see that every person benefits from the developments that can be achieved through our ongoing commitment to this initiative”.
Locally, around 5,000 people are currently living with dementia and this figure is expected to increase as local people get older.
When asked for comment on the nomination, Elaine Bostock, Project Coordinator, Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance said: “In such a short space of time, we have come a very long way. During the past 18 months, the support and interest from the wider community has helped us achieve what we set out to do and more. Being recognised for our community initiative from over 300 applicants in England and wales for the Dementia Friendly Awards is an amazing achievement and we would like to thank our members, partners and the community for their support. Being shortlisted for the National finals will help us build on the work that we have achieved and continue to raise awareness of dementia and further develop the work that is enabling Kirklees to be a Dementia Friendly community”.
The winner of the award will be announced at Trinity House, London on Wednesday September 16.