REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley took a key step towards helping end the stigma surrounding dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend.

Mrs Lumley joined a group of MPs and Peers from across the country for a Dementia Friends session in Parliament.

Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by the Alzheimer’s Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015, to help make England more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of the 650,000 people currently living with the condition in the country.

She was one of 30 people who took part in a number of exercises aimed at helping participants understand the effect of dementia on people’s everyday lives.

Mrs Lumley said: "I've signed up to show my support for Dementia Friends and am encouraging people in Redditch to do the same. With a growing number of people living with dementia, it's more important than ever that we all have a better understanding of the condition.

“Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with this condition. From helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia, it can help make our local community a better place to live.

“I have also made two pledges to the Alzheimer’s Society. Firstly to support Dementia Friends in my constituency and secondly to do what I can to help make Redditch dementia friendly so people with the condition can play a full role in our community. I will be working with the society to ensure that I am able to fulfil these pledges.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Dementia Friend or helping create more communities that are dementia friendly, visit to find the nearest information session or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion.