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On 22/10/19, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together will be hosting an event at the Assembly Hall to highlight the importance of becoming more 'dementia friendly'

On 22 October, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together will be hosting an event at the Assembly Hall Theatre, to highlight the importance of becoming more ‘dementia friendly’, both for local businesses and the community as a whole. 

 Katie Hancock, Associate Solicitor in the Private Client team at CooperBurnett, will be delivering a short talk about how and why the firm is working to become a recognised Dementia Friendly Business. 

In her role as a Private Client solicitor, specialising in Wills, Powers of Attorney and Probate, Katie frequently acts for clients who have been affected, both directly and indirectly, by dementia. She also has personal experience of the condition, having witnessed a close family member develop and live with Alzheimer's for a number of years. 

Research forecasts that the number of people living with dementia in the UK will be over one million by 2025. 

“Dementia affects so many lives, in so many ways,” says Katie. “It is imperative for everyone to have a better understanding of the condition, regardless of whether they are currently affected by it or not. CooperBurnett sees the importance of this and we are actively committed to making our business more dementia aware and dementia friendly.”

The event on the 22 October, takes place from 5 to 7pm and will be useful to businesses which are consumer-facing or providing services. 

“Millions of us (me amongst them) have had direct involvement with family members or friends who have suffered with dementia,” says Karen Pengelly, Town Centre Manager, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together. “It’s an incredibly complex condition which can manifest itself in a range of ways.”

She continues: “I think that anyone working in a role which involves interaction with the public should have this training and gain an understanding and appreciation of dementia. Dementia is so widespread and so prevalent that it seems sensible not just for businesses but for a town to collectively look at how it can be more accessible.”

Tunbridge Wells has been a Business Improvement District (BID) since April 2019 and Karen explains that accessibility was one of the key objectives of the BID; so ensuring that the local business community can be trained and improve their customer service to welcome all is really important.  

She adds: “We also know that town centre CCTV is not used solely for reducing and solving crime, it is often used to locate vulnerable individuals – this happens so often, right on our doorsteps, involving businesses in the process is a natural and sensible thing to do.”

To find out more about this event, email:

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September 23, 2019
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