School praised for efforts in fight against dementia

From left, Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes, Bernard Gilpin Primary School business manager Louise Bainbridge, project lead Fiona Bridle and society ambassador Angela Rippon.

From left, Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes, Bernard Gilpin Primary School business manager Louise Bainbridge, project lead Fiona Bridle and society ambassador Angela Rippon.

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A Wearside school has claimed a national award for its contribution towards the fight against dementia.

Staff from Bernard Gilpin Primary School in Houghton were presented with the Best Dementia Friendly Educational Initiative award, at the ceremony at the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Awards 2015 at Trinity House, Tower Hill, in London.

The school was one of 26 finalists to attend the ceremony, which was hosted by TV personality Angela Rippon, OBE, who is an Alzheimer’s Society ambassador.

Project lead Fiona Bridle and school business manager Louise Bainbridge accepted the award on behalf of the school, which has been leading the way as a dementia-friendly organisation as one of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge schools.

“We are absolutely delighted with the national recognition we have been given from Alzheimer’s Society,” said Bernard Gilpin headteacher Andrew Bainbridge.

“We are very proud of our school and would like to thank all those involved for supporting the initiative and for the positive impact this is having on our children, and those affected by dementia in our community.

“We want our school to be at the heart of our community and that is why every single member of staff and every pupil has reached out to people with dementia and their carers, so they can play an active role in their community.

The school has incorporated dementia learning into their curriculum, developed The Living Room to hold a weekly activity session for people living with dementia, and have promoted the importance of intergenerational learning to both Northumbria and Newcastle Universities.