Monday 26th October 2015
Durham & Darlington Stations Achieve 'Dementia Friendly' Award

***PRESS RELEASE FROM VIRGIN TRAINS EAST COAST***

Virgin Trains has been awarded ‘Dementia Friendly’ status for both Durham and Darlington stations.

Durham and Darlington stations are the second and third stations in the UK to be awarded the title after customer service staff at both stations received special training in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society, British Transport Police and the North East Dementia Action Alliance.

Customers using each of the stations on the Virgin Trains East Coast route will be able to recognise staff who have undergone the training by the blue Dementia Friendly logo pin badge worn as part of their uniform.

Virgin Trains is proud to be pioneering this additional support for customers with support from other partners. The initiative has also attracted attention from as far away as Japan where much work is being done to see how companies can provide support for those people living with dementia.

Clare Ansley, Virgin Trains General Manager for Durham and Darlington stations, said: “This is a great achievement which will help so many of our customers. We’re working closely with British Transport Police, our communities along the route and other partners to improve the experience all of our customers receive when travelling with us.”

British Transport Police was short-listed at the National Alzheimer’s Society Awards earlier this year for the Dementia Friendly Status Stations project.

PCSO Amanda Cooper from British Transport Police based at York station said: “British Transport Police are delighted that the Railway Companies, and in particular Virgin Trains on the East Coast, are working with us to create dementia friendly railways.

"We are always looking for ways to work with our railway partners to support and encourage our communities using the railways.”

York station, which is also managed by Virgin Trains, was the first in the UK to be awarded ‘Dementia Friendly’ status in 2014.

Andrew Ball, Project Manager for North East Dementia Action Alliance, said: “We are proud to award both Durham and Darlington Train Stations with dementia friendly status. They are 2 of only 3 stations in the whole of the UK to be awarded with such status and to both be situated within the North East is a great honour.

“Virgin Trains teams at both stations have worked extremely hard to ensure that all their employees are Dementia Friends which has equipped them with the knowledge and understanding of dementia to enable them to spot the signs and symptoms of any station visitors and assist them confidently and accordingly.

“Through making their stations dementia friendly, they are giving independence and confidence back to anyone visiting the station with dementia and their carers to continue to visit places and travel just like everyone else.”

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