Every three minutes, someone develops dementia. By 2020 over one million people will be living with the condition. Dementia is one of the nation’s most prominent health challenges with nearly 44% of people either directly or indirectly affected – people who Dementia Friends, a project run by the Alzheimer’s Society, exists to support.
The Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia, aiming to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. A Dementia Friend is somebody who learns about dementia so that they can be part of this mission. Too many people affected by dementia feel that society fails to understand the condition they live with so a Dementia Friend helps by gaining the skills to raise awareness and understanding so that people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want.
Community transport, by its very nature, supports a wide range of people who might otherwise find it difficult to access other means of public transport, and many of the people who use and rely on CT services are directly or indirectly affected by dementia.
MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Training) is a nationally recognised driver training and assessment scheme which focuses on putting the needs of passengers first. MiDAS trained drivers and the community transport providers they drive for hold a common pride in the caring, compassionate and supportive nature of the community transport sector. Central to MiDAS is the understanding that as a sector we remain responsive to the needs of passengers. To do this, it’s important to work with organisations that hold expertise and best practice to make sure drivers learn the best skills to support their passengers.
MiDAS is administered by the Community Transport Association and we’re pleased to announce that the new MiDAS training round (Purple 2) will include Dementia Friends information for all trainers and drivers who go through the new round.
The new round of training, which is available from 01 April 2019, will include detailed information on dementia and two new videos to provide trainers and drivers with the information and skills they need to best support passengers affected by dementia.
Everyone who receives becomes a Dementia Friend as part of their MiDAS course will receive a Dementia Friends badge which signifies their role in helping to create safer and more inclusive communities for people living with, or affected by, dementia. I’m sure the badge will be worn with pride by community transport drivers up and down the country!
If you want more information on MiDAS or Dementia Friends you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.