It's really lovely to hear that Barnard Castle is trying to become a dementia friendly town these days.
I have been in this market town on many occasions over the last year, as we go there at weekends etc, and I really enjoy being there.
Since we started to go there everyone has spoken when they walked past, in fact it's been noticed that since we started to go everyone has been so friendly and so very helpful.
So also it's no surprise to me to hear that the town wishes to become dementia friendly, simply because the shop owners have the right attitude towards their customers etc, and seem to go out of their way to be helpful.
I gather this project is being run by the Alzheimer's Societies Services manager for the Teesdale area Mark Wilkes, and I congratulate him for his efforts
My only fear for this project, is its high volume of heavy traffic, which is taking a short cut through the town to get to and from the A66.
I confess that I find this problem to be difficult at times, but this is a problem for Durham County Coucil to sort out, as they and they alone have the power to stop this lovely historic market town being destroyed by heavy traffic taking a short cut
I know that my own town of Chester le Street has also decided to become dementia friendly, but there is a marked difference between the people and trades people in both towns.
I confess that even though I grew up in this town, but sadly it's changed so much, that I can never ever see Chester le Street, becoming a dementia friendly town, simply because no one cares anymore. I have never seen a town go down hill so much over the years and it's sad to see.
Chester le Street has also become a race track as motorists, who race through the town even though it's supposed to be 30 miles per hour. It's not the first time that someone has driven at me, when I was half way across the pedestrian crossing.
But the councillors here have no interest, because many of them never grew up in the area, and are yes men, in other words, you do not shake the boat as far as your political leaders are concerned.
Those councillors who grow up in their towns and villiages, before becoming a local councillor, have a vastly different attitude towards the general public
Dementia friendly towns need to take on board, that being dementia friendly, is not just having the title, it takes a lot of hard work, and involves many things, and to get that far, it takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes, usually by volunteers and charities
I recently wrote to Durham County Council about traffic speed, as I had done a presentation in county hall about living with dementia a few years ago.
Yet they have since shown a total lack of interest in anything to do with this illness or any other neurological illness. It's been left to charities and the public to do the work, and force them to do the obvious things that we all take for granted.
As I said before speed control needs to be part of this, simply because everyone with a neurological illness has a problem in judging traffic distances and speeds etc.
So in my view its up to the towns themselves to force issues through, to make the places friendly to all, and not just to people with these illnesses. Because when a town is friendly, and traffic is controlled, etc things clip into place.
In this day and age when services are being savagely butchered by councils and this government, it's nice to see towns and villages taking the strain and working for those who struggle with Illnesses like dementia and its says a lot for those involved,
I find it to be a real pity, that the elderly and those with these illnesses, who have worked hard and paid their taxes for years, are seeing their local services being cut back, to the minimum.
But I do think that it's the people in these towns and villiages who are fighting back and doing things their own way.
I wish Barnard Castle the very best of luck and hope they achieve their dream of becoming a dementia friendly market town.