Members from a local Alzheimer’s Society have been given the chance to record memories they can treasure forever through a new partnership with Teesside shopping centre.

Ahead of Dementia Awareness Week, which takes place from 14th to 20th May, staff from Teesside shopping centre and members from Alzheimer’s Society and their carers spent an afternoon at Live Well Dementia Hub creating and recording soundbites about their lives in Stockton and Middlesbrough.

Each individual had the opportunity to talk about their hobbies, relationships and working lives, and receive a CD and a calendar of their memories as a keepsake to share with family and friends.

Teesside is one of eight shopping centres identified by owner British Land to launch this project in partnership with The Bauer Academy at TFM radio – a national training provider who provide innovative, bespoke training programmes delivered by media industry experts. The partnership forms part of a wider initiative to give staff the chance to become Dementia Friends.

To date, 13 staff at Teesside have attended information sessions hosted by Dementia Friends – a national programme organised and run by Alzheimer’s Society – which aims to provide greater understanding of the impact of living with dementia.

Mike Clarke, Centre Director at Teesside said: “With an estimated 850,000[1] people living with dementia in the UK, Teesside is committed to giving people with dementia and their carers enjoyable shopping and dining experiences. Projects like this help to educate all of us about the condition and connect with new people from the local dementia community.

“Staff within our centre management, security and services teams who have completed their Dementia Friends training wear a forget-me-not flower badge so they’re identifiable and on hand to support our shoppers with dementia, their friends, family members and carers.”

Brenda Stagg, Service Manager at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Working with the team from Teesside to document the memories of people affected by dementia was a wonderful experience. I know the recordings are something that they and their families will treasure for a long time.

“The project ties in well to this year’s Dementia Awareness Week which is about urging people to be ‘United Against Dementia’. Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes, so that’s why Alzheimer’s Society is calling on people to come together to urgently find a cure, improve care, and offer help and understanding.”