The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is rolling out Dementia Friends awareness sessions to all of its staff from Monday 17 May, to coincide with the start of Dementia Action Week from 17 – 23 May. This is part of a broader effort by the PPF to become a fully dementia-friendly organisation.
The PPF has been delivering these sessions to its customer facing team since 2018 so its front-line staff can support its most vulnerable members. The sessions have played a key role in the Fund’s on-site training, which has seen its widely recognised customer service achieve the coveted Institute of Customer Service’s ServiceMark accreditation since 2018.
Sara Protheroe, Chief Customer Officer at the PPF said: “We’re proud to offer our employees the opportunity to become a Dementia Friend in the coming months. The Alzheimer’s Society is our chosen corporate charity, and dementia is an issue that is very close to our heart. Equipping our employees with a good understanding of dementia – and challenging misconceptions – will help ensure we provide the best possible service to some of our most vulnerable members.”
The PPF’s Dementia Friends sessions will provide an overview of dementia as a condition and will enhance employees’ understanding of how it affects those who live with it. Member-facing employees also attend a further session which focuses on the practical guidance the PPF can offer members and the families of those members living with illness. All sessions will be delivered by three existing members of staff who are fully trained Dementia Friends champions.
Sara Protheroe continued: “Dementia is a huge societal issue, and it affects hundreds of thousands of individuals and families across the UK. Given the onset of dementia often starts in later life, it's extremely important that the pensions industry has a strong understanding of the condition and knows how to deliver the best possible outcomes for those who live with it.”
Dementia has implications for the whole financial services sector. While people often think it primarily affects the elderly, of the 850,000 people currently living with the condition across the UK, two in every hundred people aged between 65 and 69 have dementia. This is a key age for pension savers, as many will be making decisions about their retirement that will affect them and their families for years to come. It's therefore vitally important that the PPF and its employees are equipped to help members who live with dementia achieve the best possible outcomes on pensions issues.
Rebecca Greenbank, Alzheimer’s Society Fundraiser for London and the South East, said: “We're delighted that the Pension Protection Fund, who are one of our valued corporate partners, are taking all their staff through the Dementia Friends training. People living with dementia have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with many people unable to see their loved ones for over a year."
"We really welcome this initiative and are delighted that it is happening during Dementia Action Week, where we encourage everyone across the community to take action to support people living with or affected by dementia. If you want to join us, visit our website alzheimers.org.uk/DAW and join us this Dementia Action Week.”
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