HALESOWEN is leading the way in the borough to becoming a dementia-friendly town - with Dancers becoming the first town business to achieve the status.

The town's BID manager Vicky Rogers is working with other organisations and together they have set up an action group to "develop Halesowen as a town where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported."

There are 10,300 people living with dementia across the Black Country and over 3,000 of these are within the Dudley Borough.

Vicky said Halesowen is hoping to lead the way for the other borough townships to follow.

To achieve town status at least 50 per cent of each workforce needs to be dementia aware - clothes shop Dancers became the first town business to achieve the status and others are following.

Employees can achieve the status by taking part in a one-hour session to become 'Dementia friends.'

Vicky said: "In a Dementia Friendly community people will be aware of and understand dementia, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the way they want and in the community they choose

"The group have been liaising with Dudley Dementia Alliance for guidance to become the first dementia-friendly community in the Dudley borough, with the hope other townships will follow.

"Since the action group first met at the beginning of April things have moved along swiftly and we are excited that GSM and Asda, Cornbow Shopping Centre, are looking to get involved and roll out training to their staff."

A dementia awareness day was held in the town on May 22, during Dementia Action Week, which saw scores of people take part in one-hour sessions at venues across the town including the library.

An evening awareness session was held at wine bar Swanky’s, followed by a presentation at the District Scout Commissioner’s AGM at Newfield Banqueting Suite, which around 50 people attended.

Vicky said the action day had been a "huge success."

She said: "It went beyond what we expected for our first action day.

"We will continue to roll out sessions to get as many people across Halesowen aware."

The action group is made up of BID, Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary, local Dementia Champion Tracey Tomlinson, Home Instead Senior Care and the District Commission for Scouting.

The team is also looking to get people involved with ‘Soundtrack’ events, which encourage carers to create personalised playlist for dementia patients.

To get involved contact Vicky by e mailing her on info@halesowenbid.co.uk or attend a session on Wednesday July 10th - details of which will be confirmed shortly on the Halesowen BID Facebook page.