TV presenter Angela Rippon was delighted to team up with students from a Devon school in a new project to educate youngsters about dementia.
Stoke Damerel Community College in Plymouth is one of 21 schools across the country taking part in the Dementia Friendly Schools project.
Part of the prime minister’s Challenge on Dementia, it aims to raise awareness of the condition. There are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK and one in three people over the age of 65 will develop the condition.
“The lessons we learn from this initial stage of the project will ensure we can offer schools all over the country the opportunity of being involved in a nationwide scheme,” said Ms Rippon, who is co-chair of the Dementia Friendly Communities champion group.
“Ultimately we will be creating not just dementia-friendly communities, but a dementia-friendly generation, and that will have a major impact on the way we react to dementia patients and their carers in the future. By making them aware of the condition, its symptoms and its effects, we can begin to educate future generations about the devastating impact of the disease.”
Stoke Damerel has been involved in the project since last September and has incorporated the theme into many of its curriculum areas.
In English and photography, pupils are working with older people in the community to capture their life stories while media and drama students are working on a film to promote awareness of dementia.
“We have got a very proactive approach to health and healthy living,” said Martyn Cox, the school’s community partnerships director. “We have also found that many of our students know someone whose life has been touched by dementia.” CAPTION: Lessons: Angela Rippon with Stoke Damerel students