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The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN) delivered a dementia awareness session last week (5 July) to National Energy Action (NEA) employees to raise awareness of the disease and support the Alzheimer’s Society initiative to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia.

The session was delivered by Sunderland based Liz Reynolds and Jill Walker of Northern Gas Networks, to twenty-four employees at the NEA’s Newcastle offices, the national charity seeking to end fuel poverty.

The training was delivered over two sessions, giving employees the chance to become Dementia Friends and helping them to learn about the disease and identify those that may be living with the condition and ensure that they provide the appropriate help and support.

Tom Bell, NGN’s Head of Social Strategy said: ‘’We work closely with the NEA and it is good to make more people dementia aware, dispelling the most common myths about the disease.’’

“Dementia is a disease which is likely to impact us all in some way, many of us have personal experience of seeing relatives or close friends living with it, or are directly supporting a family member who has dementia.

“We don’t underestimate the complexity of vulnerability at NGN and we know there is always so much more that can be done. That’s why we continually look to better understand the diverse challenges faced by the communities that we serve and adapt our approach to provide the most effective support possible.”

Jen Carruthers Jones, Business and Partnerships Manager at NEA, said: “The Dementia Friends sessions delivered by NGN were invaluable. The sessions not only helped us learn about what it’s like to live with dementia, but also how to turn that understanding into action. It was useful to learn about the small ways that you can help, from telling friends about it to visiting someone you know with dementia.”

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, which ran from 14 to 20 May, NGN gave colleagues the opportunity to become Dementia Friends across the network.

* A Dementia Friend, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action – anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. From telling friends about Dementia Friends to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects Carbon Monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.