Schoolchildren are making their voices heard as they lead the way in reaching out to people living with dementia.
Pupils at Holley Park Academy, in Washington, have been trained as Dementia Friends in a course run by charity Alzheimer’s Society.
The training offered them a unique insight into what life is like for people living with the condition.
Members of the school’s One Voice Choir added their support to the charity with a fundraising performance in Washington’s Galleries shopping centre.
Holley Park headteacher Sharon Richards said: “The younger generation often gets a bad press about being selfish but the empathy our pupils have shown towards people with dementia has been amazing.
“The feedback we have had from the children’s parents has been very good – anything that makes it easier for families to talk openly about dementia has to be worthwhile.”
The younger generation often gets a bad press about being selfish but the empathy our pupils have shown towards people with dementia has been amazingSharon Richards
All but two classes at the school have undergone the training, and by next week, all 284 pupils and more than 35 staff members will have completed it to make a fully dementia friendly school.
The funds raised at the Galleries will go towards Alzheimer’s Society, which is the UK’s leading dementia charity.
Alzheimer’s Society dementia support worker Rowena Carr said: “The school’s staff and pupils are leading the way in Washington.
“They’ve already raised more than £400 for Alzheimer’s Society in the past few weeks through a non-uniform day and a coffee morning on Cupcake Day.
“I was so impressed with how seriously they took the Dementia Friends training.
“It has helped some of them to understand the challenges faced by grandparents with the condition and the importance of spending quality time with them even if their memories are poor.”
Alzheimer’s Society relies on voluntary donations to continue its work, which funds research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of all types of dementia.
It has committed to spend at least £150million on research over the next decade.
To donate to the charity, call 0330 333 0804 or visit alzheimers.org.uk.