H’Angus the Monkey has become the first mascot in the country to be named a Dementia Friend as part of a new link-up between the Club and the Alzheimer’s Society.

As part of the partnership, full-time staff at the Club have undergone a Dementia Friends information session to help make sure we can accommodate those living with dementia in the best way possible.

Andrew Ball, Dementia Action Alliance Project Manager at Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friend Champion, delivered the session at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium during which staff were encouraged to ask questions to broaden their knowledge.

H’Angus the Monkey – played by Michael Evans – was given special dispensation by Hitachi in Newton Aycliffe to attend the session and become the first mascot to become a Dementia Friend.

“We want the Club to play a part in helping to break the stigma connected with dementia and this was our first small step,” explained Operations Director Mark Burrows.

“The message from us is that whatever we can do to make sure any fans living with dementia can continue to enjoy supporting Hartlepool United in as comfortable an environment as possible.

“By educating our staff and those that will be communicating with our fanbase on a regular basis we can make sure that this club becomes truly Dementia-friendly.”

Andrew Ball added: “Hartlepool United is an integral part of the local community here and I am overjoyed they are taking steps to become dementia friendly.

“Hartlepool is recognised as a Dementia friendly community and having the support of such a community-spirited club is great.

“Dementia Friends will give them information about what it is like to live with dementia and turn this understanding into action; this will mean such a lot to those with dementia who watch Hartlepool United Football Club regularly.”

For more information about Dementia Friends and to find out how you and your organisation could get involved visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk