Members of staff at Specsavers in Marlborough put the focus on fundraising during Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May), raising £55 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Budding bakers whipped up home-made cakes and invited customers and passers-by to indulge in a treat for a donation to the charity, while each team member made an extra contribution to the fundraising total to dress down for the day.
Store director Paul Shimell said: ‘I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who visited us in store and donated money to the Alzheimer’s Society. We have some very talented bakers here in Marlborough and it was great to see their hard work go down a treat!’
Along with the bake sale, the Specsavers team is now qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia, having qualified as Dementia Friends – an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society. It covers all aspects of dementia and how it affects people in different ways. With particular relevance to Specsavers, it also describes how senses can be affected, including sight and hearing.
Paul added: ‘I always thought dementia was about someone’s memory, but it’s much more than that. The Dementia Friends initiative has opened my eyes to the effects of the disease, and how everyone in store can take a little more time to support and care for customers with dementia.’
Those with dementia commonly experience problems with their sight and visual perception, causing them to misinterpret the world around them. Some sufferers can experience hallucinations. On top of that, research has revealed that almost half of dementia patients in care homes are wearing glasses with the wrong prescription, leading to increased isolation and confusion.
Specsavers learning and development manager Samantha Jessop said: ‘By providing dementia awareness training we are taking necessary steps to equip all colleagues with the necessary skills to support all of our customers and continue to provide the same excellent service that we pride ourselves upon, regardless of the personal struggles any of our customers may be facing.
'I’m delighted we are now offering this as part of our core training offer.’