A SCHOOL has won a national award for its work with people suffering from dementia.

Staff from Bernard Gilpin Primary School, in Houghton-le-Spring, were presented with the award for Best Dementia Friendly Educational Initiative at the awards run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

The school has incorporated dementia learning into their curriculum and developed The Living Room, which holds weekly activity sessions for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

Head teacher Andrew Bainbridge said: “We want our school to be at the very heart of our community and that is why every single member of staff and every pupil has reached out to people with dementia and their carers so they can play an active role in their community.

‘Winning the award is a real cause for celebration and every one at the school should be proud of the work they have done to win such a prestigious award. It’s a real red letter day for the school”.

Hazel Cuthbertson, regional operations manager with the Alzheimer’s Society paid tribute to the school.

She said: “Bernard Gilpin Primary School really is inspirational and it’s great that the staff and pupils have had their efforts to dementia-friendly gain national recognition.

“The awards have been a great opportunity to recognise all the hard work going on across the county to make our communities more dementia-friendly and for Bernard Gilpin to come out on is a great credit to the children, teachers and all the staff.

Project leader Fiona Bridle and school business manager Louise Bainbridge accepted the award on behalf of the school from Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Angela Rippon ata ceremony in London on Wednesday.

British Transport Police, Northumbria Police and a County Durham-based project by the Amateur Swimming Association were also shortlisted for the national awards.