Havant Borough Council has signed up to the Dementia Friends initiative, a social action movement led by the Alzheimer’s Society which aims to change perceptions of, and address the fear and stigma associated with, dementia. Dementia is a disease of the brain which can affect memory, everyday tasks, communication and perception. There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Hampshire is home to approximately 18,000 of these individuals, with approximately 2,000 of those residing in the Havant Borough; this figure is set to rise. People with dementia face many challenges going about their daily lives. These include going shopping, using public transport, socialising and getting involved with their community. When they face difficulties it adds to their stress and can lead to them reducing, or giving up, their community involvement and becoming isolated. Community-based and customer-focused organisations have an important role to play in ensuring people living with dementia can continue to live their lives and be an active part of their community for as long as possible. Dementia support services A list of dementia support services is available on our website. Monthly dementia awareness sessions Due to the current coronavirus situation, Dementia awareness sessions are not taking place at the Plaza, however, you can attend an online Dementia awareness session. The sessions will give you an understanding of dementia and the challenges it brings. By attending, you'll have the chance to become a Dementia Friend and make a difference in your community. Attend an online Dementia awareness session Public Service Plaza review We recently worked with Dementia Friendly Hampshire to conduct a review of the Public Service Plaza campus and car park. The review considered aspects such as signage, decor and staff awareness. Overall our facilities were scored highly and there are clear indications that the Plaza is Dementia Friendly in most areas. Blue badge parking is available close to the building, pathways leading up to the building are clear and the ground is well maintained. Access through the main doors is excellent, the staff are welcoming and lighting is good, with lots of natural light coming in through the windows. There is plenty of seating and plain colours have been used to decorate the walls and floors. Signage to the lift/stairs and meeting rooms is clearly visible and easy to access. Signage to the toilets is excellent, as are the toilets themselves; spacious, clean and clutter free. There are several large plant pots and chairs grouped by colour dotted about; this will aid navigation for someone with Dementia. Some improvements were suggested and we will be looking to implement these over the coming months.