Diocesan press releases

Dementia Award for the Diocese of St Asaph

The Diocese of St Asaph has become only the second Anglican Diocese to be awarded the status of “Working to become a Dementia Friendly Diocese” by the Alzheimer’s Society.

The award was made during the Diocese of St Asaph’s Annual Conference in Wrexham and accepted by the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron.  At the same time, the Alzheimer’s Society was announced as the 2018 Charity of the Year for St Asaph.  All 228 Church in Wales congregations across north east and mid Wales will be raising money for the charity, on top of their regular fund raising.

Jo Lane, the Dementia Friendly Communities coordinator in North Wales, presented the award and said: “It is a huge achievement that the Diocese of St Asaph has been officially recognised as ‘Working to become dementia friendly’. This is the first step demonstrating their commitment to support people with dementia within their community.  Alzheimer’s Society, Cymru is looking forward to continuing to support the diocese at this exciting time.”

The status, Working to Become Dementia Friendly, denotes a process that enables the diocese to be publicly recognised for its work toward with dementia-friendly projects. It was built around seven criteria based on what is important to people affected by dementia and their carers.

Amongst the steps taken by the diocese are the launch of memory cafes, dementia accessible worship services, public information sessions, visiting residential care homes and providing carer support. The Dementia Support Officer for St Asaph, the Revd Dr Bob Friedrich, said: “I am so pleased we have received this recognition.  We can now turn around and designate individual churches as ‘Working to Become Dementia Friendly.’

“The diocese has undertaken to offer training, dementia friends sessions, support and encouragement so all churches can provide the necessary support to people in their community affected by dementia.”

Earlier this year, the diocese launched four pilot projects with Bangor University to review the impact of church and spirituality on dementia   It resulted in several new dementia projects opening in churches across the Diocese.

To find out more about the Diocese of St Asaph’s work with the Alzheimer’s Society, and Dementia Friendly Church, contact Bob Friedrich at bobfriedrich1@gmail.com or Sarah Wheat at  sarahwheat@churchinwales.org.uk.

Note to Editor

The first Anglican Diocese to be awarded the status of “Working to become a Dementia Friendly Diocese” by the Alzheimer’s Society was the Diocese of Lichfield in the Church of England.