London Stansted Airport has reached a new milestone as more than 1,000 members of staff have been trained to become Dementia Friends, completing awareness training to support passengers with hidden disabilities travelling through the airport.
The airport is working with the Alzheimer’s Society to train all its staff, from security officers and office workers to firefighters and engineers, aiming to become a dementia-friendly community. The scheme will now be rolled out further, with the airport encouraging the 200 on-site businesses to make all 12,000 people working at the airport dementia-aware.
“An airport can be particularly stressful for a passenger living with dementia, so we’ve teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to make sure that they get the best support possible at every point during the airport journey,” said Lucy Martin, Accessibility Manager at London Stansted Airport. “Our aim is to train all our staff across all levels and roles and encourage the 200 on-site companies to adopt the training too and work with us towards London Stansted being a dementia-friendly airport.”
The training considers the whole airport environment and the challenges it can present to people living with dementia.
Mark Neville, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator for Essex, said the step showed a “united approach” from the airport, adding, “We know that busy environments, like airports, can often cause confusion and stress for people living with dementia. By having a better understanding of the condition and making adjustments, big and small, airport colleagues can make this experience much smoother.”
The scheme is one of several London Stansted has in place to improve accessibility of the airport for people with hidden disabilities.