AFTER the success of Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Conferences last year, they are back in 2020, this year up from three locations to six across the country.

The conferences bring together volunteer Dementia Friends Champions and representatives from our Dementia Friendly Communities and feature expert speakers, workshops and, most importantly, people living with dementia talking about the impact that Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly Communities have on their daily lives.

In Durham there is a conference on Tuesday, February 18, at the Durham Centre in Belmont Industrial estate, at which champions will be showcasing some of the work they’ve been doing in the local community, highlighting dementia research and outlining new services.

There are now more than three million Dementia Friends and almost 500 Dementia Friendly Communities, all working towards a common goal of supporting people with dementia to live their best lives for as long as possible in their communities.

They aim to show how, by finding out more about dementia and by making small changes, everyone can share responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to the community where they live.

To find out how to become a Dementia Friend, go to and for information about how to make your neighbourhood, village, town or city more dementia friendly, go to the website.

Ed Chivers, Dementia Friends Regional Officer, Alzheimer’s Society, Newcastle.