A Carlisle nurse who has recruited over 400 dementia friends has received a top award in recognition of her work.
Leanne Story, originally for Carlisle, was awarded the Jim Cox Prize for most inspirational student at her University of Cumbria graduation ceremony (November 27.)
The 24 year old adult nursing graduate won the prize for organising a conference earlier this year to raise awareness of the condition among fellow students.
Now, having trained over 400 friends, she continues her mission with the aim that anyone who comes in contact with dementia patients better understands their needs.
Leanne said: “We’re not giving dementia patients the best care that we could so we want to try to educate people in how to care for people with dementia so we can improve the quality of life and the care that we give them.”
Professor Louise Nelson, head of nursing at the university, nominated Leanne for the award because of the difference she has made to staff and students’ knowledge and understanding of dementia patients: “Leanne has made a huge difference to the student population and in public settings in recognising dementia and in enabling staff and students to be dementia friends.”
She added: “Leanne’s bubbly and vivacious personality has a really positive effect on her fellow colleagues and she makes an admiral ambassador for the Dementia Friends organisation.”
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme aims to change perceptions of dementia. Friends learn about the small ways someone can make a difference to the lives of those living with dementia.
Leanne is already landed her dream placement working in the Elm dementia and delirium ward at Cumberland Infirmary. A fast-paced and exciting working environment but Leanne loves the challenge.
“I’m enjoying my job – it’s exciting,” Leanne said.