SSEN employees become Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends - leaflets from Alzheimer Scotland

Employees from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) recently became Dementia Friends following interactive learning sessions with Alzheimer Scotland.

Dementia Friends Scotland is an Alzheimer Scotland initiative, raising awareness and changing perceptions of Dementia. SSEN hosted three information sessions with 21 of its employees to help them understand what it’s like to live with Dementia and how they could support SSEN’s customers who may need a little extra help.

As an organisation, SSEN is committed to supporting its customers living with Dementia within its network areas in the north of Scotland and central southern England. The company works 365 days a year by investing and upgrading its electricity network to improve security of supply to its customers. However, on the occasions power cuts do occur, the company wants to ensure those who are vulnerable, or become temporarily vulnerable, receive the help they need.

Julie Walker, Social Obligations Manager at SSEN, said “There is always more we can do to play our part in helping those living with Dementia by making sure we provide them with the best customer service possible. As an organisation, we wanted to support our customers living with the condition, but also help our employees have more of an in-depth understanding of what this really means and how it can affect individuals in very different ways.

“Our Priority Services team has been Dementia trained through work with Age Scotland and some of this has been incorporated into the wider vulnerability training all of our front line employees receive. We thoroughly enjoyed the Dementia Friend information sessions and look forward to organising more of these sessions in the future.”

Anne McWhinnie, Programme Manager for Alzheimer Scotland, added: “Dementia Friends Scotland is a Social Action Movement with the aim of raising awareness and reducing the stigma of Dementia. The sessions are interactive and enable staff to think about what their understanding of Dementia is and how they could support their more vulnerable customers by learning what it’s like to live with Dementia on a day-to-day basis.

“I delivered face to face sessions to the SSEN employees and found them very engaged and eager to understand how they could improve the service they provide to each of their customers who may be living with Dementia. I am looking forward to continuing to support SSEN with delivery of future sessions.”

850,000 people live with Dementia in the United Kingdom. SSEN’s dedicated Priority Services team ensures those who need extra help receive it from trained advisors.

Customers can qualify for SSEN’s Priority Services Register if they are dependent on electricity for home medical care, have a chronic illness or short term medical condition, are disabled, have special communication needs, are over the age of 60, have children under the age of 5 or for any other reason may not cope in a power cut.

For more information on SSEN’s Priority Services Register, please visit ssen.co.uk/PriorityServices, or to register call 0800 294 3259 or 0800 316 5457 to register using a text phone.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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