Frenchgate Shopping Centre helps dementia sufferers in Doncaster

Staff at Frenchgate Shopping Centre outside of one dementia friendly store, Lush
Staff at Frenchgate Shopping Centre outside of one dementia friendly store, Lush

A dementia friendly environment is the aim of staff at Frenchgate Shopping Centre determined to make it a more welcoming destination.

Along with some retailers, staff at Frenchgate have recently undertaken dementia training to raise awareness about what can be done to help people with the condition while they shop at the centre.

They are also working closely with the charity Dementia Friends to raise awareness of the disorder.

Strategy and delivery manager at Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, Michele Clarke, said: “It’s excellent that Frenchgate are working hard towards making their centre dementia friendly.

“Shopping can sometimes be a traumatic experience for those affected by dementia, as they can become easily disoriented. There are simple measures that can help reduce stress for people with the condition and it’s great to see Frenchgate putting those steps in place.”

Manager at one of the Frenchgate stores involved, Lush, Tracy McFarlane, said: “We’re really proud to be helping make Frenchgate dementia friendly.

“From October 17, Lush has hosted Calm Shopping sessions between 5.30pm and 6.30pm every Monday. The shop will be open exclusively for customers who have dementia, autism or any neurological conditions who may find the normal shopping environment overwhelming.

“During this time, we will ensure there is no music playing and that staff are aware of customers’ needs and will be on hand to help. Shops can become very hectic in the run up to and at Christmas so we want to provide a calm and relaxed atmosphere so customers feel safe and comfortable while they purchase gifts.”

For further information about Frenchgate, visit www.frenchgateshopping.co.uk or follow Frenchgate on Facebook and Twitter.