Supporting Dementia Friendly Rossendale

Rachel Yates, dementia development coordinator at Making Space, is volunteering her time and expertise to support a local initiative that improves the lives of those living with dementia and their carers across Rossendale.

As well as working full time for Making Space, Rachel was keen to play her part in supporting her own local community. So when she found out about the Dementia Friendly Rossendale group, Rachel signed herself up as a volunteer right away.

She said: “In my job at Making Space, I’m always driving here, there and everywhere, but I didn’t feel I was making a contribution on my own doorstep.

"Making Space has a commitment to creating awareness of dementia, sharing good practice, partnership working and dementia friendly communities. So when I told my line manager about wanting to volunteer, I was supported to the hilt.

“Dementia Friendly Rossendale is an amazing bunch of people who are making a real difference to the lives of local people with dementia and their carers. I am proud to volunteer with such a committed bunch of people”.

So far, Rachel’s volunteer work has seen her teaching A level students at Alder Grange School about dementia and communication. Next month she plans to introduce Year 3 students at Helmshore Primary - aged just seven and eight - to how they can communicate better with people with dementia.

And it’s not just about educating young people. Every part of the community can benefit from dementia training says Rachel, and Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue are next on her hit list.

Brian Topping, chair of Dementia Friendly Rossendale said: “It is estimated that there are currently 1,100 people living with dementia in Rossendale. However, dementia doesn’t only touch the patient. When you consider the domestic care involved, the further number of people affected by the condition can easily rise two or threefold."

“With experts like Rachel on board, Dementia Friendly Rossendale can make great strides in breaking down barriers and prejudices and identifying opportunities where the local community can help in a positive way.”

We are incredibly proud of Rachel for volunteering her own time and knowledge to improve her local community.