Two Billericay Schools achieve Dementia Friendly Schools Award

Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator Mark Neville , United In Kind Coach Ali Perrott, Chair of the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance Maureen Lee, School Council Co-ordinator and Year 4 Teacher Suzi Murray – Children Elected School Councillors representing each class in the school.

Quilters Infant School and Quilters Junior School have both been awarded the Dementia Friendly Schools award from the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance, sponsored by Hallmark Care Homes and Anisha Grange Care Home.

Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator, Mark Neville, presented the Junior School President and Vice-President of the School Council with the award and praised their hard work and commitment. Member of the Dementia Action Alliance’s Steering Group, Dave Sweet, made the Infants School presentation.

To achieve the award, the schools had to meet and evidence five different outcomes. Outcomes include being aware of dementia and how it can affect others, sharing the dementia friendly message across their school community, reaching out to the elderly community and reflecting on how they can best understand and help other people.

Over the past 18 months, the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance has been supporting the children to gain a better understanding of dementia and all the Junior children and School Council members in the Infants School have become Dementia Friends. The role of the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends initiative is to educate people about dementia so they can help to create a more dementia friendly community. The younger children have also joined with members of Billericay’s Forget Me Not Memory Café, where they chatted and took part in games. The older children have also become pen pals with residents at Anisha Grange Care Home.

Headteacher of the Quilters Federation, Michael Wade, says:

"I am absolutely delighted that our schools have both received the Dementia Friendly Schools Award. The Award recognizes that our pupils - our Quilteenees and Quiltonians - are kind, caring, empathetic, community minded young people. They really deserve this accolade because of the passion and enthusiasm with which they have committed to making a tangible difference to others via this initiative."

Chair of the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance and Dementia Friends Champion, Maureen Lee, has been working with the schools to help the children understand how dementia can affect people’s lives and what we can all do to help make Billericay a truly dementia friendly town. Maureen said:

“Achieving the Dementia Friendly Schools Award at this time reflects Quilters’ impressive shared commitment to the children’s personal and social development and to enabling them to make a real difference in society. This has all been achieved despite the major interruptions to school life and significant additional pressures that this last year has brought – Quilters always has a can-do approach.”

As well as their impressive work over the past year and a half, the children recently celebrated the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week, taking part in Billericay in Blue, where they helped decorate windows with forget-me-not art work, with messages about kindness and special memories which made a massive impact on the town.

Deputy Headteacher, Lydia Knights said:

“The children are very proud of themselves. They were all very excited to see their blue forget-me-not pictures in the High Street. It has been an honour to be part of this project and such a good, real learning experience for the children. It opened a great discussion about our community and how we can help others.”

Both schools have also submitted a sustainability plan that demonstrates their ongoing commitment to maintain and extend the school’s focus on understanding dementia, strong community involvement and intergenerational partnerships.

For further information about the Billericay Dementia Action Alliance and if you would like to become a member, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..