Wed, 17 Feb 2021
LAW firm Gardner Leader has transformed its offices in Newbury to become dementia friendly and has trained more than 30 staff to be dementia friendly aware in support of the Alzheimer’s Society.
The company is one of only two solicitors in the county to be officially recognised for its work towards being dementia friendly by Dementia Friendly West Berkshire – an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of people living with the disorder.
There are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with this number projected to reach 1.6 million by 2040.
As part of working towards dementia friendly status, Gardner Leader carried out an audit to identify ways to make its Newbury office a better environment for those with dementia.
Timed with an expansion of its Newbury premises in White Hart House, Market Place, changes include colourful artwork in the meeting rooms, new toilet signage and seating, door mats in dementia friendly colours and new reception, entrance and exit signage to help those with dementia find their way around the office unaided.
More than 30 members of staff are also qualified as dementia friendly aware, an initiative to support those living with dementia and to inspire others to make a positive difference in the community.
Gardner Leader managing partner Derek Rodgers said: “It’s inspiring to see so many of our staff wanting to make such as a positive difference to people living with dementia by training to become dementia friendly aware, and so we took the opportunity to make our offices in Newbury more dementia friendly when we expanded and refurbished last year.
“Gardner Leader has been present in the local community for over 120 years and, as the number of those living with dementia continues to grow, it is important for us to ensure our offices remain a safe and welcoming space for everyone.”
Victoria Rowland of Age UK Berkshire, who delivered the training session, said: “Gardner Leader has taken another fantastic step to support people living with dementia by offering all of their staff Dementia Friends sessions.
“Dementia Friends is a social action movement led by The Alzheimer’s Society that aims to reduce the fear and stigma of living with dementia and allow people to feel supported and understood in their communities.”
Gardner Leader has provided professional advice for the Dementia Friendly West Berkshire website around legal matters that may affect people living with dementia, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney.