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Purple Angels dementia campaign is flying high

January 21 2014


A campaign to turn Wrexham into Wales' first dementia friendly town has been given a major boost by two education chiefs.

Both Professor Michael Scott, Vice Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, and David Jones, Principal of Coleg Cambria, have given their wholehearted backing to the ground-breaking Purple Angels scheme.

The campaign was launched in Wrexham by the locally-based Pendine Park care organisation after it was suggested by a member of staff, activities and well-being coordinator Anita Moran.

The aim is to raise awareness with local shops and other businesses, providing them with a simple training manual so that they are better equipped to recognise the symptoms of dementia and respond accordingly.

Businesses that sign up to the scheme will then display posters and stickers with the Purple Angels logo to signify that they are dementia aware.

Anita, who was inspired to join the Purple Angels campaign by the experience of her late father Barry, who had dementia, was overwhelmed by the support of the town's two major educational institutions.

She is the first person in Wales to become an ambassador for the worldwide Purple Angel campaign.

Her colleague, Chris Hodge, who works as a teacher with Pendine Park's in-house training company, Smartcare Teaching Care Centre, has also become an ambassador.

Anita, who works at the Hillbury care home, said: "I really can’t believe it,  I’m so made up by the backing of Glyndŵr University and Coleg Cambria because I didn’t think I would get this much support.

"There is a lot of momentum building up now and it looks like my dream of turning Wrexham into Wales's first dementia friendly town is about to come true."

Prof Scott, whose own grandmother had dementia, said: "It’s an excellent campaign coming out of Pendine Park which as we all know is doing so much great work.

"This disease is affecting so many people now - not just those who are unfortunate enough to have dementia but also their families and their communities.

"The idea of getting this wide awareness through the community of this is just a superb thing to do in the context of getting people to understand the seriousness of the situation.

"The sad thing is that the demographics tell us that this problem is going to get worse and worse and worse so it this is a vitally important campaign."

It is also a cause close to the heart of Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE.

He was inspired to open his first care home in 1985 because he was unable to find suitable support for his beloved grandmother, René Warburton, who had dementia.

Mario said: "The Purple Angels campaign has certainly struck a chord because   it’s just such an easy campaign to understand and so many people now are touched by dementia in their families.

"We need to become more aware of the impact of dementia on people’s lives and the little things we can do to make those lives that bit easier to live.

"The support of two major educational institutions like Glyndŵr University and Coleg Cambria is crucial.

"Wrexham is ahead of the curve on this issue and I'm hoping the rest of Wales will take their cue so that we can become a much more dementia friendly country."

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