Partners and staff at Shentons Solicitors in Winchester have recently undertaken training to become ‘Dementia Friends’ as part of an initiative by The Alzheimer’s Society. Twelve people from the firm across all departments took part, including Partners, Solicitors, secretaries and administrative staff.
Partner Louisa Hollely explained: “the firm is currently supporting The Alzheimer’s Society as our charity of the year and we wanted to do more than simply raise funds for them. The Dementia Friends initiative provides training which aims to give an understanding of dementia and the small things we can do that can make a difference to people living with the disease – from helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia. People with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community. We all enjoyed the session and learned lots from it.”
At the end of the session, all were encouraged to make a pledge of something they could do to turn their understanding of dementia into action. Solicitor Jon Whettingsteel was inspired to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society by organising ‘Challenge Jon’. He explains: “I am asking my colleagues to come up with challenges and (within reason) I’ll do them. It could be running, swimming, sitting in a bath of beans, eating a bowl of chillies or something gross, a night out in fancy dress: anything that’s legal, be it physical, mental, or just plain embarrassing!”
Jon may live to regret his bold words – the first challenge has been made and accepted, with colleagues at Shentons making donations to wax his legs!
The attached photograph shows some of Shentons’ Dementia Friends.