The Alzheimer’s Society Northern Ireland held their third annual Dementia Friendly Community Awards recently.
The Awards, which took place at the Europa Hotel, Belfast, were hosted by Bernadine McCrory, Country Director for Northern Ireland.
Rathlin Island was recognised at the awards ceremony for the work done this year to become the UK’s first dementia friendly island.
Rathlin was a finalist and came runner up in their category of ‘Dementia Friendly Community of the Year 2017’. To date 60 people who live and work on Rathlin Island have undertaken training to become Dementia Friends and the local primary school is having dementia friendly lessons.
This is only the beginning and plans are to extend the project even further in 2018.
Representing Rathlin Island at the Awards were Shauna Cecil, Margaret McQuilkan, Marina McMullan and Aoife McMaster.
Aoife McMaster, Causeway Dementia Support Worker with Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There is a strong sense of community on Rathlin. Residents are always keen to help one another. This is evident in the actions they are taking to become Dementia Friendly, not just for other residents living on the island but to help the 40,000 tourists who visit the island every year, many of whom will be affected by dementia.
“I am so proud of the work that the people of Rathlin
have done to create a society where people with dementia are supported and accepted to get on with their lives without fear or prejudice.”
Shauna Cecil, Floating Support Worker on Rathlin, said: “It is a huge honour to be nominated for the award. We are absolutely delighted to have been
made a finalist in our category. It has been fantastic to celebrate all the work being done not just on our part of the world but all across Northern Ireland.”