OA Isle of Sheppey a leading light in creating a dementia friendly community

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey’s work to support local people who have dementia has received further national recognition after they shared their knowledge and expertise with fellow youth and education providers on how to ‘Create a Dementia Friendly Generation’ at a special event in London.

Paul Murray, Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey’s Community Leader and facilitator of Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey’s Dementia Cafes, has delivered one of the key note speeches at the Prime Minister’s Champion Group annual event in central London which this year was called ‘Creating a Dementia Friendly Generation.’

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey’s Dementia Cafes have been a regular feature since the school became part of the Sheppey Dementia friendly community, as students volunteer their time to put on themed café events for residents of local care homes, and members of Age UK from both Sheppey and Sittingbourne.  Activities include singing, performances, and even pampering sessions from beautician students.  The young people also conduct regular fundraising for local dementia charities.

Commenting on the event Paul Murray, Community Lead at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, says: “Our students’ commitment and care for our local elderly and those with the symptoms of dementia is nothing short of inspirational.  It is their drive, creativity and heart for others that makes each Dementia Café such a success – they are an embodiment of a Dementia Friendly Generation.”

“It is of course an honour to speak on their behalf to other educationalists about their achievements. I hope that today’s event will encourage other schools to replicate what we have established on the Isle of Sheppey; dementia of course knows no geographical constraints and young people across the country have so much to offer vulnerable people in their local communities.”

John Cavadino, Principal of Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, added: “The Dementia Cafes our students put on for our local community are always joyous occasions which everyone involved clear hugely enjoy.  We are very proud of the example our young people show to us all. Special thanks to them for their hard work, Mr Murray for the vision and support he gives our students and the many others locally that help make the cafes such a success.”

Jackie Swapp, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Kent and Medway, said: “A third of young people know someone living with dementia. With over two million people developing dementia in the next ten years, most people will know someone affected by the condition in their lifetime. We want every young person to understand what it's like to live with dementia, and Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey’s Dementia Cafes are a fantastic way for the school to fight the isolation and loneliness some people with dementia can feel. It’s fantastic Paul Murray was able to speak about how the school are helping to create a Dementia Friendly Generation – through their cafes, regular Dementia Friends sessions and joining the local Dementia Action Alliance.”