Six Ways Scouts can support Alzheimer Scotland
Dementia is one of the six issues Scout groups are encouraged to explore and support through the A Million Hands initiative, and our Scottish charity partner on this issue is Alzheimer Scotland.
The charity hopes that Scouts can help reduce the social isolation felt by those affected by dementia, challenge the stigma brought about by dementia, help communities better consider the needs of those experiencing dementia, and equip young people with better knowledge and understanding of the condition.
Alzheimer Scotland has come up with six ways that Scout groups can support their work and help raise awareness of dementia in their communities.
Become a dementia friend
Dementia Friends are volunteers who are committed to helping people better understand dementia through all sorts of actions, from helping someone find a bus stop to spreading the word on social media.
Young people can become Dementia Friends and play their part in creating friendly communities. Anyone interested in becoming a Dementia Friend needs to attend a 45-minute face-to-face session,that can be tailored according to the age group.
Scouts groups can host one of these sessions. This is a great way to introduce the subject matter to young people and inspire them to become part of a wider social movement.
Visit care homes
Make connections with local care homes and arrange a visit. This could involve making memory books or films about people's life experiences, discussing what the local area was like 50 years ago, creating a dementia-friendly garden for residents, or just having a chat to someone from a different generation.
Host a tea party
Host a tea-party for older people and invite them to visit your youth group. It doesn't have to be for people with dementia - you might want to focus on improving intergenerational relationships more generally.
Make your local area dementia friendly
Think about whether your local area is dementia friendly and what changes might make it easier for people with dementia, or older people more generally, to get out and about. Find out if your area has a local Dementia Advisor and find out if your youth group could support them to improve the local area for people with dementia, helping us to create a dementia friendly community in your area.
Take part in a memory walk
Alzheimer Scotland host regular memory walks, which are an opportunity to raise awareness of dementia in memory of a loved one and raise money to support the cause.
Find out more: www.memorywalksscotland.org
Find a volunteering role
Young people can also volunteer for Alzheimer Scotland.
Find out more at: www.alzscot.org/volunteering
The next steps
If you are a Scout please talk to your Scout leader about your Community Impact badge and choosing dementia as your cause.
If you are a Scout leader, you’ll find lots of useful resources on the A Million Hands website or get in touch directly with Alzheimer Scotland.