PUBLIC Health England and a leading dementia charity have joined forces in a major new campaign to mobilise people in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to play their part in tackling one of the biggest health issues facing the region.

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative aims to show it will take a whole society response to enable people with the condition to live well.

It is estimated that 32,295 in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are living with dementia; the initiative will show everyone the small things that they can do to make a difference.

Dr Shona Arora, the director of the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Public Health England Centre said: “Becoming a Dementia Friend involves finding out more about what dementia is, and the small things they can do to make a big difference to a person living with the condition. People can live well with dementia.

Debbie Donnison, the Alzheimer’s Society regional operations manager for the south west, said: “People with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community.

“There are already thousands of Dementia Friends across Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire but we want to see many more people signing up and helping us reach and beat our target of a million by 2015.”