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Dementia Friends Campaign

 

We're working with the Alzheimer’s Society to help convenience retailers and colleagues better understand and support customers living with dementia.

The campaign is part of ACS’ 25th anniversary activity and aims to create 25,000 Dementia Friends in the convenience sector to help customers, colleagues and communities affected by dementia.

Dementia is the 21st century’s biggest killer in the UK. Someone develops the condition every three minutes, but too many face it alone and without adequate support, even though two thirds of people with dementia live in their local community.

Becoming a Dementia Friend

Taking part in the campaign is easy, just follow these steps: 

As part of the campaign, we're also running a number of regional face-to-face training events which are free for members to attend, more details are available below.  

Virtual Awareness Sessions

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) is working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society to host a number of online awareness sessions to create more Dementia Friends in the convenience sector.

The sessions are free for ACS members to attend and will be taking place on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 19th January: 4pm – 5pm
  • Thursday 21st January: 10am – 11am
  • Wednesday 27th January: 12pm – 1pm
  • Friday 29th January: 4pm to 5pm

Session Content – Signs of dementia; physical effects of dementia; impact of dementia on in-store behaviour and interactions; how to identify and effectively support customers who may be affected by dementia.

Ideal for – Shop floor colleagues and anyone interested in helping customers, colleagues, friends and relatives affected by dementia or caring for people living with dementia.

Outcome – Attendees will become Dementia Friends. Attendees can also gain a Dementia Friends badge which can be worn to demonstrate support and understanding around dementia. 

For more information about the awareness sessions and to register your interest, please email steve.dowling@acs.org.uk

Supporting Vulnerable Customers in the Convenience Sector

Everyday activities like shopping can present challenges for vulnerable customers. We've put together new guidance which outlines some of the ways that retailers can accommodate the needs of vulnerable customers in-store.

There are some general principles to follow when helping vulnerable customers in store: 

  • Treat a vulnerable person in the same manner and with the same respect and courtesy you would anyone else.
  • Providing good customer service to vulnerable customers will sometimes mean doing things differently.
  • Try to think flexibly and creatively about the way you serve customers in order to meet their needs.
  • Do not make assumptions about the existence or absence of a vulnerability/disability; many people have vulnerabilities that are not visible or immediately apparent.
  • A vulnerable individual/customer may not introduce a personal assistant or an interpreter. Take your lead from the person using the services.
  • People who use guide or assistance dogs may have a visual, hearing or mobility impairment, or they might have epilepsy. These dogs are working dogs and should not be treated as pets.
  • Don’t worry if you ever feel embarrassed because you aren’t sure what to do. We can all feel anxious about doing the wrong thing on occasions, and this may be the first time you have met anyone with your customer’s particular vulnerability/disability.
  • Be confident; relax and ask your customer how you can help.
  • Some people need a little more time than usual for everyday tasks such as finding items or paying. Always be patient and give extra help if it’s needed.

Download the Supporting Vulnerable Customers Guide

For more information about the campaign, please email steve.dowling@acs.org.uk or chloe.heyde@acs.org.uk.