News story

Could you be a 'Dementia Friend'?

David Cameron welcomes Britain's biggest ever project to challenge the way the public thinks about and acts on dementia.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

One million people are needed to take part in the nation’s biggest ever call to action on dementia, under a new scheme launched today by Prime Minister David Cameron.

As part of the scheme members of the public will be able to attend free local training sessions on how to become a ‘Dementia Friend’.

Read more detail on the Department of Health website.

What are Dementia Friends?

Dementia Friends will learn about dementia and how to give support to people with the condition. By 2015, we would like one million people to become ‘Dementia Friends’ and use their know-how to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their community.

How can I get involved?

You can register your interest today and be one of the first to hear about when and how you can take the first step to becoming a Dementia Friend.

By volunteering at the start, you can help build a network of Dementia Friends in your local community.  People who register will be able to shape the social movement and will be the first to hear about awareness sessions.  

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

We cannot underestimate the challenge we face in dealing with dementia in our country.

There are already nearly 700,000 sufferers in England alone but less than half are diagnosed and general awareness about the condition is shockingly low.

Last March I made clear that I wanted to do something about that and we are now going further and faster to help people and their carers, and to support the research needed to prevent and treat the condition.

Through the Dementia Friends project we will for the first time make sure a million people know how to spot those tell-tale signs and provide support.

There is still a long way to go in fighting the disease but together we can improve the lives of millions.

This scheme is part of a package of measures announced today as part of the next phase of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.

It includes initiatives to boost early diagnosis, to make wards and care homes more comfortable for people with dementia and help the public to better understand the condition.

There are currently 670,000 people with dementia in England and this is set to double in the next 30 years.  

Alongside the publication of the Dementia Challenge progress report,  the government has also announced the next steps for the Dementia Challenge.

Where can I find out more?

If you’re interested in finding out more about Dementia Friends you can register for updates by texting ‘Friend’ to 88080 or visiting Dementia Friends website. People who register will be able to shape the social movement and will be the first to hear about awareness sessions.

Updates to this page

Published 8 November 2012