YOUNG people have been visiting care homes in the district as part of an innovative new support service.

The young volunteers, from the National Citizens Service, have been to two care homes in Keighley as part of the Dementia Friendly Communities initiative.

The Airedale Social Movement is a new project run by the Alzheimer’s Society which aims to bring social activities and interaction to people with dementia in residential care and keep them connected with their local community.

The group of young people, aged 16 and 17, visited Norwood House and Regency Court as part of their National Citizens Service Social Action Challenge and they organised activities including playing the piano, singing and reading.

NCS volunteer Caitlyn Rhodes, 16, said: “The visit has helped me to learn a bit more about dementia and how it affects people. Hopefully I can now educate and inspire more young people to do the same.”

Jahoal McIntosh, NCS Programme Leader, said: “The time the young people spent at Norwood House went really well. "Some of the young people who took part in the visit have offered to volunteer at the care home in the future which is a brilliant outcome from the day!”

Joanne Volpe, Programme Manager of the Airedale Social Movement, said the scheme was an effective way of bringing older and younger people together.

“It’s really important to give younger and older people the opportunity to spend time together and share their interests and skills,” she said. “People affected by dementia living in care homes often find it hard to get out, so being visited by young people has helped residents feel more connected with their local neighbourhood.”

Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. By 2021, it is estimated that one million people will be living with the condition - and this will soar to two million by 2051.

Around 6,000 people in the Bradford district live with the condition.

Bradford's Dementia Friendly initiative was launched in 2012, one of the first in the country. It grew into a three-pronged approach - developing Dementia Friendly (DF) communities; setting up a Bradford Dementia Action Alliance, involving working with organisations and businesses to develop action plans; and enabling people to become Dementia Friends.

Across the Bradford district there are nearly 7,000 Dementia Friends and many Dementia Champions, who engage with and help people living with the condition.

Bradford’s District Dementia Action Alliance encourages organisations and businesses to be Dementia Friendly and invites people with dementia to check out public places and services to see how facilities and staff meet DF criteria.

The Alliance works in schools and colleges, helping young people have a greater understanding of dementia. And people who have dementia give regular talks to young audiences, sharing their experiences of living with the condition.

* For more about the Alzheimer’s Society, and the Dementia Friendly Communities scheme, call 0300 222 11 22 or visit