Specsavers opticians in Rothwell have received a Community Committee Award for the invaluable support it provides to vulnerable members of the community through its partnership with Dementia Friendly Rothwell.
Setting an example
The award, given by Leeds City Council, means that Specsavers in Rothwell has become one of the first retailers in the area to be officially recognised as ‘dementia friendly’ by the group, set up to inspire better basic understanding of the needs of those affected by dementia amongst businesses.
Store director Mandip Rehal is extremely proud of the team’s work with Dementia Friendly Rothwell: ‘Working with the group gives us a better understanding of the needs of those affected with dementia, which ultimately helps us to provide a much better service in store.
‘It was an honour to receive recognition for our work with the community, and we look forward to working more with them in the future.’
As part of its close ties with the group, the whole store team recently took part in a dedicated training session to ensure they are fully trained and able to assist and accommodate customers with the condition and their families.
People with dementia tend to have challenges in communicating, often experience hearing issues and struggle with spatial awareness, all of which staff at Rothwell Specsavers see on a regular basis.
As well as receiving the award, the store was invited to a reception in Leeds to have lunch with the Lord Mayor and other recognised ‘dementia friendly’ businesses in the area.
Dementia Friendly Rothwell
Dementia Friendly Rothwell was created three years ago, with the aim to involve businesses in and around Rothwell to become ‘dementia friendly’. To be recognised, staff have a basic understanding of the needs of those affected by dementia, so that they can support them, and their families, in a more understanding and relaxing environment.
Peter Smith, organiser of Dementia Friendly Rothwell, believes it is critical all busy high street retailers should be aware of how dementia can affect people of all ages: ‘The Rothwell store is a great example of being part of a dementia friendly community. The support from the staff has been outstanding, and they are not only referring customers to my groups, but have also contacted me about particular customers they have felt may be having problems.’