Be Dementia Aware
Be Dementia Aware
Killarney Community College, Kerry
The Social Issue:
After a classmate divulged the struggles they experienced when a family member was first diagnosed with dementia, this team of students from Killarney Community College felt compelled to take on the issue of dementia awareness. A survey created for staff and students at their school led to some surprising results, including the fact that 58% of students didn’t know what dementia was.
Be Dementia Aware was created to ensure everyone feels capable of supporting people with dementia. The goal was to educate their community on all aspects of the condition, such as brain health, dementia prevention, types of dementia, and more; thereby, furthering UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages”. They worked closely with the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland and a woman with dementia, who visited the school to talk to the students. Using their campaign tagline, 'Under the Umbrella' they created a series of videos, a social media campaign, a brochure, and a website. They also held several awareness fundraisers to support their local nursing homes. All proceeds were donated to the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.
We believe that we have achieved our goal and have helped to create a society that is more informed on the issue and can support people with dementia and their families.
In recognition of their inspiring work, the team was presented with a Group Award at the 2019 Kerry Division Garda Youth Achievement Awards. The students won the award because of their commitment to raising awareness about dementia across their community. They have also recently been nominated for a National Garda Award and featured on RTE's Today show to talk about the project and its various achievements. Watch their interview here. Their creative use of social media also led them to win the Social Media Award at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards, 2019.