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Motherwell wins glittering European award

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Scotland’s steel town has galvanised its position as an international beacon of best practice for supporting people living with dementia after a securing a glittering European award. 

Partnership working between agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council and Alzheimer Scotland helped make Motherwell the nation’s first official dementia friendly town in 2012.

Now the initiative – which has seen shops, services and businesses signing up to learn about dementia and how they can take simple, practical steps to make an enormous difference – has triumphed at the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) awards in Brussels.

The EFID is a network of organisations including The Atlantic Philanthropies, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation.  The EFID awards are “a mark of recognition” for “exemplary practices”.

The North Lanarkshire initiative, called Dementia: Everyone’s Business, was one of 52 entries from eight countries. Just ten projects were selected as winners who were each were awarded € 10,000 prize money which will be ploughed back into the successful initiatives.

Paul Callaghan, of North Lanarkshire Council, who attended the Brussels prize ceremony, said: “We’re delighted to receive this esteemed recognition and it really is a credit to all partner agencies involved.

“The project proactively engages with shops and businesses and opens not just doors, but hearts and minds. It raises awareness of dementia, its impact on people, families and carers and the importance of community connections.”

The initiative is one of many being taken forward by North Lanarkshire in its role as one of three Dementia Demonstrator Sites across Scotland. The work will help inform future versions of Scotland’s Dementia Strategy.

The project is also a vital part of the Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) programme which aims to help growing numbers of people over 65 continue to live full, positive and independent lives in the community. 

Arlene Crocket, of Alzheimer Scotland, who was also at the Brussels event, said: “We’ve always been confident this initiative has had person-centred dementia care and support at its very core. This recognition only bolsters our resolve to continue to build on the work in place.”

In North Lanarkshire, RCOP combines the expertise of partner agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, the independent and the third sector.

Ian Ross, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We’re delighted this project has been internationally recognised in this way and it’s testament to hard work, innovation and joined-up working from all the partners involved.

“A key aim of RCOP is to support growing numbers of people aged 65 years and over by providing more care at home, in homely settings and in the community.

“Work like this demonstrates that the partners are committed to making that a reality and are fully focussed on making a real difference to the lives of people throughout area.”

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