Newport and Ryde stores have come together to enhance their awareness and understanding of dementia to mark this year’s Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May).

Putting the customer first

Inspired by retail director Catherine Kidd from the Newport branch, her 39-strong team alongside Ryde’s 11 colleagues have collectively committed to be Dementia Friends, an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Both stores already have seven Dementia Friends but Catherine and Ryde store director, Chris Bonner, wanted to extend this valuable training to all team members.

The first Isle of Wight high street store to commit to training all employees

Their pledge ensures that both communities on the Isle of Wight are best equipped to assist with customers living with dementia and will make them the first high street store tp boast a complete complement of Dementia Friends’ employees.

How they are trained

Stage one of their awareness has been conducted with online learning. Stage two will involve a further enhanced ‘Information Session’ delivered by a volunteer Dementia Friends Champion during Dementia Awareness Week. The end result will be a deeper understanding and empathy of dementia for every employee.

What this means to the directors

Catherine Kidd, a Dementia Friend herself, says: ‘Our primary goal is to ensure each and every employee at both of our stores feels fully empowered to be a Dementia Friend.

'They will all wear their Dementia Friend badges on their uniforms to indicate their dementia awareness to customers and carers.’ She continues: ‘Being more aware of dementia is an incredibly positive development for our team and our offering to customers.

'I always thought dementia was all to do with someone’s memory – but it is much more than that. By uncovering the truth about dementia, it really opened my eyes to how at Specsavers, when performing our daily duties, we can all take a little time to support and care.’

All Newport store information

All Ryde store information

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