The Nantgarw campus of Coleg y Cymoedd is on course to become the first ‘dementia-friendly’ college in Wales.
The move was started by college learner Sam Andrews, who was inspired after he completed work experience at the Alzheimer’s Society.
The learner independently launched an action plan to help the college’s canteen, hair and beauty, and customer service departments become dementia friendly.
All staff at the college campus near Pontypridd are now training to be ‘Dementia Friends’.
Operations manager for the Alzheimer’s Society in South East Wales Melanie Andrews said: “It is great to hear of the positive work happening at Coleg y Cymoedd. They are setting a precedent and I hope many more will follow across the country.”
“We want people from all works of life and backgrounds to join the Dementia Friendly Communities movement.”
There are 2,500 living with dementia in Rhondda Cynon Taf, part of the area that Coleg y Cymoedd serves, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Almost half the people that suffer from dementia in the UK have said they don’t feel part of the community, according to a recent report by the charity.
Ms Andrews said: “It is good to see how far we have come but unfortunately there are still too many people with dementia who do not feel supported and part of their local area; they feel trapped in their own home, isolated and a burden.”
“Many people with dementia are not able to take part in activities they enjoyed before they developed the condition, they want to engage with society but need support.”
“It is possible to make small changes that will make their day to day lives much better and being able to stay part of the community for longer.”