Welcome onboard for Dementia Action Week - Your driver today is a dementia friend

2 weeks ago Thu 9th May 2024

Two older ladies walking outdoors with text: "Dementia Action Week 12th May to 19th May 2024"

May 13th until May 19th is Dementia Action Week, and every year Alzheimer's Society work with individuals and organisations across the UK to encourage people to act on dementia.

Since 2016 at Brighton & Hove Buses, we've been raising awareness and training our colleagues across the business to become dementia aware. And now, 8 years on, all our drivers are 'Dementia Friends'. This means that when a customer living with dementia boards the bus, they will now be greeted and welcomed aboard by a dementia friendly driver. 

We know the importance of the role that our drivers play in ensuring a better travelling experience for everyone, and by asking our colleagues to take this one action to become dementia friends has already made a huge difference to many of our passengers.

Ed Wills, Managing Director at Brighton & Hove Buses, said: “The lived experiences of people with dementia shares with us how vital it is to be a dementia friendly organisation. Being dementia friendly encourages us all to help people to live well with dementia, while improving accessibility for the whole community. We were therefore delighted last year when Brighton & Hove City Council accredited us as an Age and Dementia Friendly Business.

“With the help and support of the Alzheimer's Society, we have learned how important it is to ensure our bus services are more age and dementia friendly, including fitting lighter floors, and by our colleagues becoming Dementia Friends. Our next-stop audio-visual announcements also provide reassurance for all of our passengers.”

Brighton & Hove Buses has a long-standing commitment to making buses accessible for everybody by working with individuals and local organisations like Alzheimer’s Society, Guide Dogs and Possability People.

Shirley Williams lives in Brighton and regularly catches the bus around the city. In a short film called 'Shirley’s Journey', she brings her bus trip to life: “I’m in my eighties and I’m doing everything I want to do. Even just a second to sit in this bus and do it. You’re going to where you’re going, you know what you’re doing and you’re still meeting up with people that you know.”

In addtion, to help celebrate Dementia Action Week and in partnership with Brighton & Hove Council, we planned an exciting day out visiting the beautiful scenery and One Garden at Stanmer Park with a group of local people living with dementia. We all boarded the bus ready for what turned out to be a fantastic day thatincluded a delicious lunch and a tour of the gardens. Once on board, we were all treated to live music by the talented 'Moving Sounds' and the band got everyone singing along. 

All Brighton & Hove Buses have Dementia Friendly Flooring ensuring its more accessible for people living with dementia. To learn about the other activities happening across the city visit the council website.

Watch Shirley’s full story here: