Our Dementia Story

Dementia affects millions of people in the UK, with an estimated 850,000 people living with the disease and 36% of the population knowing a family member or close friend with dementia. The condition can often lead to individuals feeling socially excluded and lonely. We wanted to take action to help remove stigma, improve understanding and raise awareness of dementia across our Society and region – in the hope of making the North East a Dementia Friendly place.

Dementia Friends

As part of our initiative, colleagues across Newcastle Building Society have had the opportunity to take part in dementia awareness sessions to become Dementia Friends. We now have Dementia Friends in every branch and every department in head office that has contact with customers, as well as a Dementia Friendly team of senior leaders in the form of our Executive Team.

It’s our aim to ensure all colleagues across our Society take part in a dementia awareness session.

Sheila Hodgson, our Dementia Champion recounts: “There was a lady that kept coming into one of our branches, every week with a passbook that was over 20 years old.  She had closed the account many years ago. However, the lady thought she still had the account as her ‘present’ was 20 years ago.”

Following dementia awareness sessions, our branch staff were able to recognise this and now make sure to take extra time with the lady. They sit over a cup of tea and chat with her.  Each time they still have to explain that she no longer has an account with us, but they also take time to talk to her about her past. This offers the lady the chance to share her stories and she leaves our branch having had a positive experience.

Thanks to the Dementia Friends awareness sessions our colleagues recognise the condition and understand how to support those living with dementia, making what can be a strange environment for someone living with dementia, less stressful.  

Our Dementia video

Dementia is a condition close to many of our hearts and the colleagues featuring in our video are no different. We wanted to show that there is more to the person than the dementia and it’s possible for those with the condition to live well. It just takes those around them to show understanding, be patient and give them some time.

If you haven’t seen our dementia video yet, head over to our Facebook page and give it some love! @NewcastleBSoc

It’s your chance to get involved

Are you interested in becoming a Dementia Friend? We are offering you the chance to join us in your local branch to become a Dementia Friend. With your help we can make the North East a dementia friendly place.

Register your interest here.

We’d love to hear your stories, or reasons for becoming a Dementia Friend. Tweet us @NewcastleBSoc.