Stockton Council’s libraries have been recognised in the EDGE Awards for their work to help children and young people understand dementia.
The Council’s Library and Heritage Service won the Social category award for Dementia Awareness for Children at this year’s awards ceremony.
The awards form part of the EDGE conference, an annual event in Scotland which brings together representatives from libraries, information services and technology companies across the UK, for a programme of panel discussions around innovation in public services.
This year’s awards recognise positive achievements and initiatives which celebrate the value of libraries, with the social category honouring work with communities, target groups, engagement or commitment to making a difference.
Stockton Council worked in partnership with Stockton Dementia Services Collaborative to develop a dementia awareness programme which is being delivered in schools and libraries across the Borough.
The programme helps children learn about the condition in an open, fun and friendly environment. Programme leaders use storybooks, memory games and object handling to teach children about dementia, encourage them to ask any questions and to share their feelings with friends and family.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Ken Dixon, said: “Our libraries are very popular and offer much more than lending. Books and activities can be really powerful tools for discussing sensitive issues in a way children can understand and enjoy in a comfortable setting so it’s wonderful to be recognised not only for this programme of work, but the value of libraries in the wider community.”
Judge for the social category, Marcia McGreevy, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership work between Stockton Library and Heritage Service, primary schools and Stockton Dementia Services Collaborative. The project raises the awareness of dementia in families and the wider community, therefore addressing the stigma of dementia. The collaboration of professional expertise provides lasting benefits which can change attitudes and progress with intergenerational projects for the future.”
Stockton Council’s library service recently registered with the Dementia Friendly Stockton project in a commitment to becoming more dementia friendly after the project won national recognition from the Alzheimer’s Society in January.
It encourages local shops, restaurants, libraries and other organisations across the Borough to take a number of affordable, achievable steps that will make them more accessible and meet the needs of customers affected by dementia.
The awards were presented by Edinburgh City Libraries at The Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh on 28 February.