New partnership blossoms out of redundancy for two Lancaster businesswomen

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Following redundancy after many years of working in education and training, two Lancaster women have set up a new business.

Gill Grattan and Gill McBain have set up Reconnect Dementia Training in response to having identified a need for more in-depth dementia training for front line/customer facing staff in businesses.

Gill Grattan said: “In Lancashire alone, there are currently 10,000 people diagnosed with dementia, and more than 850,000 people throughout the UK.

“We can’t see the disease, but many people living with dementia feel it is the understanding and attitude of customer facing staff in shops, public transport, and services, that makes the biggest difference to them living as independently for as long as possible, or they face an isolated world.

“A survey carried out by The Alzheimer’s Society revealed 69 per cent of people with dementia said the main reason they stop going out is down to lack of confidence and support in their community.”

With a proven track record of delivering high quality education and training, in both the private and public sectors, both partners are committed to helping more people to live well with dementia.

Both are trained dementia champions, and have personal experience of friends and relatives living with dementia, knowing only too well the impact that this can have on their lives through lack of understanding and support in the community.

Gill G added: “Being able to provide services that are sensitive to the needs of those with dementia are crucial in securing a positive impact for businesses and those accessing services.”

Gill McBain said: “Our aim is to contribute to the development of Lancaster and district as a dementia friendly business community through providing appropriate training solutions. People will receive positive experiences of using local businesses, services and facilities, as staff will have an improved knowledge and understanding of dementia and be able to manage situtaions with confidence.”

Gill M added: “At Reconnect Dementia, we recognise that training and awareness-raising is at its best when it is designed for the audience in mind.

“How individual businesses and staff respond to people experiencing difficulties linked to dementia, can make a real difference to their life and their carers. Don’t underestimate how important customer facing staff knowledge and understanding might be to someone living with the disease.”

Dementia Awareness Week runs from May 15-21, and encourages people to address dementia directly.

In support of this, the pair are offering a three-hour training course at a reduced price of £39.50 (normally £49.50) per delegate.

Delegates can book and buy their ticket for the course, which is on Thursday May 19 from 10am-1pm at The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/gill-grattan-and-gill-mcbain-10696219062.