The initiative is the biggest ever social action movement to change the way the nation thinks, acts, and talks about the condition.
The BBPA will be promoting the charity’s Dementia Friends initiative to pubs across the country, teaching hospitality staff more about what it’s like to live with dementia.
So far, pub companies including Ei Group, Marston’s, Wadworth, St Austell Brewery, and Daniel Bathams have all registered their support, equating to more than 6,000 pubs across the UK.
BBPA will be working closely with these pub companies to promote Dementia Friends across their estate and raise awareness of the UK’s biggest killer. An estimated 850,000 people in the UK live with dementia, but many aren’t included in their communities and face isolation.
By raising awareness among pub staff, support can be offered to those living with dementia in their community, ensuring that pubs continue to provide a great service to all customers.
Since the initiative was launched in 2013, around 2.9 million people have become Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends and there are now more than 400 Dementia Friendly Communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, tackling the stigma around dementia and improving the lives of those affected.
This initiative supports the work of the Tourism Sector Deal, which seeks to make the UK the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025, increasing the number of international disabled visitors by one-third.
It has already been implemented by Wadworth, a BBPA member and pub operator in Wiltshire. As part of Wadworth’s work, 43 people working in and running Wadworth pubs have so far attended the sessions with more to come. The sessions are being organised by Wadworth to ensure that people with dementia and their carers can enjoy their visits to a Wadworth pub and know their needs are better understood.
‘Two million peopl in the UK will be living with dementia by 2051’
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Pubs are at the heart of every community and it is important that they are accessible to everyone living with disabilities.
“We were pleased to hear the government’s announcement of a Sector Deal for Tourism, which promotes the importance of accessible tourism. We hope that this work with Alzheimer’s Society contributes to this. I and the BBPA team are all now Dementia Friends.”
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, added: Dementia isn’t going away — two million people in the UK will be living with it by 2051. But too many people experience loneliness and isolation, and don’t have adequate support.
“By working with the BBPA and delivering Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends sessions, the pub sector will be joining the biggest social action movement in dementia. Equipping people working in the thick of our local communities with information, as well as the confidence to support customers affected by dementia, will do much to ensure that people with dementia feel understood and better included in society.”