In recognition of Dementia Awareness Week 17-24 May, BBC Radio Sussex conducted an interview between students aged 13-14 at Warden Park Academy and visitors from the Mid Sussex Dementia Friendly group.
The visit was part of an going programme within the Learning for Life curriculum, the objective of which being to help the young people understand more about dementia and its effects and to empower both groups to talk freely about the condition.
The students were able to listen and ask questions as the visitors talked about their experiences and the challenges they face in different stages of the disease.
Those with family members living with dementia were able to identify with what was being said but others started the lesson knowing little more than that it involved memory loss, unaware of its other effects, including the loss of mobility.
By the end of the session, the students had a far better understanding of the condition. They saw how positive people living with the condition remained, and, as a result, were able to view them differently.
Nicola Simmons, Assistant Headteacher said “ Most people during their lives will be affected in some way by dementia and it is extremely important to educate society about its effects. This was an opportunity to breakdown some of the stereotypes that so often exist between young people and other parts of society and I believe that both our students and the visitors have gone away with a better understanding of each other”.
Report contributed by Warden Park Academy.