A PROJECT involving railway staff and the treatment of people with dementia has been heralded.

The Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (CRP) formally marked the local involvement of both Arriva Rail North (Northern) and Carlisle Support Services for their part in promoting dementia awareness on the Bentham Line (the route through the Dales from Leeds and Bradford to Morecambe).

Over the last six months CRP chairman Gerald Townson, vice-chairman Rod Tickner and Bentham Line Partnership Officer Catherine Huddleston have been delivering sessions for staff to raise awareness of dementia and enrol attendees as 'dementia friends'.

All three are Dementia Friends Champions, an initiative of the Alzheimer’s Society, which aims to give a positive approach that enables those with a dementia diagnosis to live well.

Mr Townson presented framed certificates to John Kitching, the Northern station manager in charge of ticket office staff at Skipton, Shipley, Bingley and Keighley stations, and also Paul Kemp from Carlisle Support Services who provide gate-line and revenue-protection staff at the same stations.

The certificates will be displayed in the work offices to reflect their staff’s keenness to be actively involved.

Mr Townson said: “I am pleased to mark the positive involvement shown by both companies in allowing these vital front-line staff to attend the two-hour awareness raising sessions.

"Almost 50 of the staff have attended and with volunteers and other groups, such as British Transport Police, the overall number to attend the sessions is near 200.”

Ian Davis, of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), said: “This is a wonderful collaboration between the Bentham Line CRP, Carlisle Support Services and Northern.

"ACoRP is delighted to support this major project which creates an increased awareness of dementia and promotes inclusivity on the railway and in the communities on the route.

"I am looking forward to this extremely important initiative to expanding beyond the Bentham Line.”