Social Impact Award - Sponsored by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA)

Rachel West

2016 National Winner

Dementia impacted Rachel’s family when she was too young to fully understand what it was and how she could help.

Now, Rachel is making it her personal and passionate mission to ensure as many people as possible have a basic understanding of dementia by delivering dementia awareness sessions through her work as a health and social care assessor.

So far, Rachel has reached more than 100 learners and colleagues as well as making 450 ‘dementia friends’ as part of her voluntary role as a Dementia Friends Champion in the East Midlands to audiences including Women’s Institute, RNLI and scout groups.

Rachel’s training provides information for learners to use on a daily basis to improve the quality of life for people with dementia. Her teaching equips them with practical tools to support their loved ones’ quality of life and independence and also signpost them to local dementia services.

Rachel also delivers awareness training to employers, care staff and groups including Job Centre Plus. Rachel’s pro-activeness in engaging learners is a shining example for other tutors to ensure that dementia is discussed, understood and remains in the public arena in our ever ageing population.

Rachel has recently finished her degree in health and social care, achieving a first and plans to continue to spread the word within her formal teaching and voluntary roles.

She said, I hope through raising awareness I can enable people to use their enhanced understanding in their personal lives, professional roles or in their local communities to better support and engage with those living with dementia.”