Commitment to make Hackney a dementia friendly borough

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution, Hackney Council
Across Hackney there are many organisations offering support and doing lots of work in the drive to make the Borough more dementia friendly.  There is more the Council can do across all of its services by leading and supporting the work to create a truly Dementia Friendly community in Hackney, particularly through the changes as health and social care services work more closely together. It is also important that people can get information about getting involved in activities or groups to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution, Hackney Council

Councillors have voted to work towards making Hackney a dementia friendly borough at a Council meeting this week (Wednesday 24 January).

The motion proposed the continued commitment and leadership from the Council to work with the Hackney Dementia Action Alliance group (HDAA). By working with the Alzheimer’s Society and local organisations in a cross-sector partnership, the HDAA* will provide oversight of the work taking place to make the borough more dementia friendly.

Around 1,300 people in Hackney are living with dementia, and with an increasing and ageing population in the borough, the rate of dementia will increase along with demand for local dementia-friendly services.

Cllr Yvonne Maxwell, Councillor for Hoxton West ward and Dementia Champion, said: “I am pleased that, by continuing the work to become a dementia-friendly Council and borough, we can further work towards raising awareness and understanding of dementia. It is equally important that people with dementia feel included and involved in their community.

“Hackney Council, in partnership with voluntary organisations and local businesses is looking at how it can support people affected by dementia and how it can work more closely with them, so Council policies work for them. We are also working with health partners to improve the rate of dementia diagnosis so that people affected by the condition can receive support much earlier.”

Creating a Hackney Dementia Friendly Community will support local people with dementia to live a fulfilling and independent life, as far as possible and for as long as possible. Everyone can play a part from all areas of the council, to local communities, businesses and services; it doesn’t just depend on health and social care services, families and carers.

Sandra Cater, Dementia Friendly Community Coordinator in Hackney, said: “Many residents and workers in Hackney are already Dementia Friends and are keen to make the borough a great place for people living with dementia, and their carers and families to live, work and socialise. Since 2015, we have been working hard to raise awareness, improve the lives of affected people and carers and get organisations involved to become dementia friendly. We would love for more local businesses, post offices and banks to get involved and become dementia-friendly.”

Linda O’Sullivan, Head of London Region at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

“Dementia is the biggest health and social care crisis facing society today. Someone develops the condition every three minutes and too many are facing it alone.

Many people with dementia tell us they feel isolated and let down by their communities. So it’s fantastic to see Hackney council working hard to address this issue and work towards becoming dementia-friendly.

“Dementia affects people, their carers and families in different ways but one thing seems universal: people don’t always get the support or understanding they deserve. With over 72,000 people living with dementia across London, we need every person, organisation and council to unite with us if we’re going to tackle the cruel stigma associated with dementia. We need everyone to become a Dementia Friend.”

A Dementia Festival is being held across the borough from 21 to 27 May, including dementia friendly film screenings to help people to reconnect with their memories and other people.

More information on support for people affected by dementia and other mental health conditions can be found on the Council website. Supporting people with dementia is part of the council's wider work to promote good mental wellbeing, and to ensure Hackney is a welcoming place for all. This means offering training in mental health first aid, ensuring people can access support, and tackling stigma about people living with mental health conditions.

*Members and supporters of the HDAA group includes GP practices, GLL leisure services, Hackney libraries, the Alzheimer’s Society, Tesco, Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust, London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, local cinemas and art venues.


To get involved in the work to make Hackney a Dementia Friendly community and the upcoming Dementia Festival contact Harry Johnson, Dementia Friendly Community Coordinator, on 020 8533 0091 / 07484 089 561 /