Newport Bus has become the first bus operator in Wales to be accredited as dementia friendly. It has worked with the Regional Partnership Board, Newport City Council and Alzheimer’s Society to make all staff dementia aware and to highlight how drivers can support people that live with dementia and their carers when they use public transport around Newport.
Over 100 staff have received dementia friendly awareness training over the past few months. Senior managers at the operator have committed to working in a dementia friendly way by ensuring that all new starters also receive the training and that a dementia lead is appointed within the business. They will take forward and review actions on an annual basis.
Drivers will all wear a dementia friendly badge to highlight that they are dementia aware. They will also be able to help with advice and information. Newport Bus also plans to add a dementia friendly logo to vehicles.
Says Managing Director Scott Pearson: “We are proudly part of the city of Newport, and it is therefore important for us to provide a community-focussed service. Buses play a vital part in helping people to be independent and they are often the only means of transport for vulnerable and older people.
“It is important that our drivers, as the first point of contact on board, are familiar with the condition and can provide assistance and reassurance where required.”
The accreditation achieved by Newport Bus will be highlighted at the national Dementia Conference that is organised by the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, and as part of a wider project called Get There Together. It is developing several online resources for people with dementia to familiarise themselves with changes to shops and buildings post-lockdown.
Adds Chair of the Regional Partnership Board and Newport City Council cabinet member for social services Paul Cockeram: “The work by Newport Bus and its staff will be of great benefit to people living with dementia and their carers as they travel on buses around the city.”