With nominations for 2017’s Dementia Friendly Awards now open, one of last year’s winners, Phonic FM’s Gina Awad, explains how her work continues in Exeter.
Since winning the award for Dementia Friends Champion of the Year in 2016, I have continued to raise awareness across Exeter.
In this busy, vibrant city a transformation in the perception of dementia is beginning to take shape. It’s inspiring to see this vision of a dementia friendly community embraced with open arms, but there is still much more to do. As we know change is tough, but being open to change is a key starting point.
I am certainly not superwoman and at times I’ve genuinely struggled juggling work, being a mum, following my passion in dementia and working towards the completion of my BSc in Health & Social Care through the Open University.
But I’m proud to continue delivering regular Dementia Friends sessions, which have now reached more than 1,300 people. These sessions have ranged in diversity from GP practices to supermarkets, coffee shops and yoga festivals. I even led a session in Beijing airport when I trekked the Great Wall of China for dementia research!
I also continue to present my quarterly community radio show on Phonic FM, ‘Living Better with Dementia’. The show gives a platform for people living with dementia to share personal stories and experiences, as well as giving innovators the space to share new and existing initiatives.