Dementia Friendly Communities in North West Surrey

ContactLinda Moore, Surrey County Council
Telephone07791 651494
AddressQuadrant Court, 35 Guildford Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 7QQ

This project aims to support the development of Dementia Friendly Communities to reduce isolation, anxiety and exclusion, and improve the quality of life for those with dementia and their families living in North West Surrey.

This project will empower people to share information and training to increase the level of awareness and understanding of dementia and mental health within the local community. The increased level of awareness is aimed at driving away stigma and modeling a community which can effectively support itself and its older residents to remain a part of the community for as long as they chose to.

Its focus is on  strengthening community partnerships, working with local agencies and businesses to understand how best to build dementia friendly communities and the roll out of ‘Train the Trainer ‘sessions to local shops, Police, library, theatre, leisure centre, council staff, bus and taxi drivers and any other person who works with the public.

North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Surrey County Council, local businesses and services and the third sector will work together to create communities where Dementia and older person’s mental health issues are understood and accepted. The project will raise awareness and understanding by educating key people in the community who interface with the public. This will create a community where people with Dementia and their families and carers will feel accepted and supported. It will enable people to feel part of their community and support them in staying in their own homes for as long as they chose to.

Training will be offered to people within the community who have contact with the public and includes (but is not limited to):

  • Shops and businesses including superstores, post offices etc
  • GP surgeries and hospitals (non clinical staff) Taxi and bus companies
  • Surrey Fire and Rescue
  • Surrey Ambulance Service
  • Surrey Police
  • Local authority staff (eg environmental health, wardens) Recreational settings eg leisure centres, theatres.

The project will use a “train the trainer” approach to increase sustainability and scope. Using this approach a Champion from each organization will be trained to deliver basic awareness training and take this back to their organization and wider community. There will regular contact  between  the  training  providers  and  the  trainers  including  an  annual  event  to celebrate good practice and upskill. Additional community trainers will be identified to share training across an area eg a shopping centre where smaller shops may not be able to each send someone to be trained.

A leaflet will also be produced to support this training. The leaflet will include how dementia may present, how to interact in a positive way, how to help and what to do if more information or help is needed. The leaflet will be produced in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society, people with dementia and their carers. Business who complete the training and show evidence of further sharing within their organization will be permitted to display a “Dementia Aware” “kite mark” and certificate in their business to recognize their commitment and to spread the message out to the wider community.


  • Support the increase in diagnosis by raising awareness and thereby reducing the incidence of crisis.
  • Train trainers to disseminate awareness training. Monitor the dissemination
  • Produce a leaflet to support the training and ensure this is widely distributed.
  • Set a support system for trainers including an annual meeting for sharing good practice and upskilling.
  • Put in place a scheme of recognition for business and organisation to recognize their contribution to the project.

Anticipated outcomes

  • Number of trained staff: this will reflect the growing awareness of mental health in the community, and increase competency levels of a modern workforce working with people with dementia.
  • Number of Older People living at home: A combination of the increase in awareness and up skilled workforce in the community will allow for more people to remain living independently at home.
  • Use of services: the number of referrals made to partners such The Alzheimer’s Society, Carer support Groups etc will be measured and compared to baseline figures to assess whether the sign posting of services has actively encouraged the community to approach these local services.
  • Presentations to primary and secondary care: the number of patients presenting for diagnosis and being referred onward to secondary assessment will be measured. We see this as a benefit as diagnosis leads to an increase in uptake of services be that medical, social or peer support.

Progress update

The public awareness campaign kicked off in September with bus adverts, local radio podcasts and editorials, a social media campaign and over 70,000 mythbuster flyers being distributed. The number of Champions signing up is growing. There have been a number of bids to the Innovation Fund. A tour of businesses in NW Surrey showed interest in the free training on offer. The training is in the process of being procured and is likely to begin being rolled out in the new year.