TWENTY staff and board members from Allendale Co-operative Society completed training to better understand how dementia affects people.

Established in 1874, the Independent Co-operative serves the people of Allendale and surrounding areas and is run by a Board of volunteer Directors.

Co-operative director Dave Stevenson, who recommended the Dementia Friends Training, said: "As a firefighter with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service I recently received the awareness training from the Alzheimer's Society in relation to dementia.

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"I believe that this training and awareness has been invaluable within my role and felt that it would be beneficial to our staff here at the Allendale Co-operative Society to have this training and awareness of an illness that has such a stigma attached to it.

"I'm pleased to say that over two thirds of our staff have now been involved in the awareness sessions and are actively engaging with our community with more knowledge, and the tools to assist as and when necessary.

"I would like to thank Helen and her team at the Alzheimer's Society for the work that they do and for coming to Allendale to assist us in being better prepared and more able to support our customers and the community as a whole," he added.

Allendale Co-operative also presented Helen with a £1,000 cheque.

The remainder of the Co-operative staff will complete their training later this year.