The groundbreaking ‘Archie Project’ which is making such a difference to children’s and communities’ understanding and awareness of dementia has received a national award at the Alzheimer’s Society’s first ever Dementia Friendly Awards. The Archie Project won the Regional Initiative category of the awards in competition with other shortlisted community projects in London, Yorkshire and Salford.
The team from Reminiscence Learning who have devised the intergenerational Archie Project was presented with the award at a ceremony in the Library at Central Hall, Westminster on 20th March hosted by Angela Rippon OBE, Co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly Communities’ Champions Group.
And there was more good news at the awards for Fiona Mahoney, CEO Reminiscence Learning and RL’s Manager, Emma Green: Angela Rippon agreed to be the Patron for the Archie Project and Richard McCourt (Dick from Dick and Dom), who is an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, expressed his keenness to support the project “in any way he can” saying that he “loved the way Reminiscence Learning are working to raise awareness in young children.”
There are 20 schools now involved in the project in the region, including Wellington’s Wellesley Park where the whole school – including staff – recently dressed up as scarecrows. This was their response to learning about Archie, the scarecrow whose story of being ignored and unloved made them aware of how dementia feels for its victims. Groups of children then visited the dementia units at Popham House and Oak Tree Court Residential Homes.
The awards – sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group and supported by The Telegraph – celebrate the innovative work taking place across the country to create dementia-friendly communities, allowing people with dementia to take an active part and participate in activities that are meaningful to them. Judging was done by groups of people with dementia alongside an independent panel made up of Jeremy Hughes, CEO Alzheimer’s Society, Ann Johnson, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Living with Dementia, Chris Evans, Editor, The Telegraph, Graham Lindsay, Director of Responsible Business, Lloyds Banking Group, Hazel Blears, MP and Vice Chair of the APPG on Dementia and Rebecca Sidwell, Project Manager, Department of Health.
“We are very excited to have won the Alzheimer’s Society’s first Dementia Friendly Award,” said Fiona Mahoney who wrote the book for children which accompanies the Archie Project. She added, “If anyone would like to run an Archie Project in their area or find out more information. please contact the team at Reminiscence Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org.”