Scotland’s ‘steel town’ has galvanised its position as an international beacon of best practice for supporting people living with dementia after a securing a glittering European award.
Partnership working between agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council and Alzheimer Scotland helped make Motherwell the nation’s first official dementia friendly town in 2012.
Now the initiative - which has seen shops, services and businesses signing up to learn about dementia and how they can take simple, practical steps to make an enormous difference - has triumphed at the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) awards in Brussels.
The EFID is a network of organisations including The Atlantic Philanthropies, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation. The EFID awards are a mark of recognition for “exemplary practices”.
The North Lanarkshire initiative - called ‘Dementia: Everyone’s Business’ - was one of 52 entries from eight countries with just 10 selected as winners of €10,000 prize money to be ploughed back into the successful initiatives.
Paul Callaghan, of North Lanarkshire Council, who attended the Brussels prize ceremony, said: “We’re delighted to receive this esteemed recognition and it really is a credit to all partner agencies involved.
“The project proactively engages with shops and businesses and opens not just doors, but hearts and minds.
“It raises awareness of dementia, its impact on people, families and carers and the importance of community connections.”
Arlene Crocket, of Alzheimer Scotland, who was also at the Brussels event, added: “We’ve always been confident this initiative has had person-centred dementia care and support at its very core.
“This recognition only bolsters our resolve to continue to build on the work in place.”