Upper Falls Parish recognised for support of Alzheimer’s Society

Thursday December 5th 2019

Jacqueline and Colin Higgins being presented with the Alzheimer’s Society Award on behalf of Upper Falls Parish.

Upper Falls Parish Church, Suffolk, Belfast, has been awarded first place in the Alzheimer’s Society Awards in the small/medium dementia-friendly organisation of the year category.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, and the Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning for change and raising awareness.  For this reason, Upper Falls Parish choose the Alzheimer’s Society as one of its charities for the year. 

Work with the charity has been led by church members, Jacqueline and Colin Higgins.  After experiencing first-hand caring for a loved one with dementia, they reached out to see what could be done to support others.  Jacqueline and Colin quickly identified the need for more understanding of dementia in the community and with the support of the members of Upper Falls, they took action to challenge and change misconceptions. 

Work has included: –

  • A cross-community, Dementia Friendly Community (DFC) Workshop which created 46 Dementia Friends.
  • Coordinating a series of DFC workshops for the Boys Brigade, creating a further 50 Dementia Friends and helping to create a Dementia Friendly generation.
  • Forming a partnership with Finaghy Methodist to spread the DFC message into different areas.
  • A number of personal and church led-fundraising activities that have raised hundreds of pounds to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Society

Having recognised Dementia Friends, the church is now promoted as a Dementia Friendly environment.  Those trained are now able to better support those living with dementia. People in the local community who are affected have indicated that they feel more understood, cared for, included, and less isolated, because of the barriers being broken. 

The work of Upper Falls Parish Church has successfully implemented innovative change through their Dementia Friendly initiatives, ensuring a lasting legacy for people affected by Dementia living in their local community, now and in the future. 

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