Introducing our Dementia Champion

We are lucky enough to have a Dementia Champion as a member of our staff. Annette Davey, who already has a Certificate in the Principles of Dementia Care Level 2, completed the induction with the Alzheimer’s Society and has delivered training to our staff, employers and learners enabling them to become “Dementia Friends”. Annette is our Health & Social Care Team Leader and is able to use her expertise to enhance our training in the sector.

Dementia Friends is the UK’s biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. 1 in 14 adults over the age of 65 have dementia and the training is designed to enforce five key messages to change the way people think, act and talk about the disease. The messages are:
1) Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
2) Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
3) Dementia is not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks
4) It’s possible to live well with dementia
5) There’s more to a person than the dementia

As a Dementia Champion, Annette is qualified to deliver the Dementia Friends training and has so far enlisted an impressive 131 friends. These include all members of the Health & Social Care team plus any additional staff who wanted to take part, Health & Social Care Learners, and some of our employers in the sector.

Annette says: “Dementia is an issue that affects a huge number of people living in the UK, and it is important we understand more about the disease. The Dementia Friends training is designed to highlight how a few simple alterations in the home can make a big difference to those living with dementia. The training also offers an insight into the affected person’s behaviour which can help their carers and those around them.

“It is important for our Health & Social Care learners to take part in the training, as it equips them with a greater understanding of dementia. Many of our learners will go on to work with the elderly and the enhanced knowledge of the disease will help them deliver excellent levels of care and support to those affected”.

Annette also always takes part in the annual Alzheimer’s Society Plymouth Memory Walk to raise awareness for the cause.

Thank you for your dedication to training, Annette!

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School