Attitudes to dementia have really changed over the last few years. It’s not a taboo word anymore."
This is the view of Brenda Wardle, the new Usdaw Union Learning Rep (ULR) at the Tadcaster Tesco store in North Yorkshire.
The Alzheimer’s Society, which supports people with Dementia, was the Tesco Charity of the Year a few years ago and the store’s Community Champion did a lot of work around the issue.
She raised awareness about the condition and really helped people to understand what it was, because at that time it was a new thing to lots of people."
It was during this time that Brenda got interested in the condition and she continued to work with the Community Champion on the issue even when the company changed its charity.
Seeing the impact of what a little learning could do for people inspired Brenda to take on the ULR role at the store.
I think it’s really important that the Tadcaster Road store becomes a Dementia friendly store. There is no doubt that more and more people will be affected by dementia.
More people will develop the condition or have family and friends that suffer from it. It’s important that people understand it and know how to best help those that have the condition."
Brenda has arranged many sessions to give staff the skills and knowledge to become a Dementia Friend and over 50 staff have done so in the last quarter. Brenda has many more sessions planned.
With the store having over 500 employees, Brenda says she aims to reach all of them and persuade as many as possible to become Dementia champions themselves.