HM Coastguard Rescue Teams support Dementia Friends initiative

HM Coastguard in Western Isles, Skye and Lochaber are supporting a programme to train Coastguard Rescue Teams and Duty Officers as Dementia Friends – an Alzheimer’s Society initiative which encourages people to learn more about what it is like to live with the disease and turn that new understanding into action.

Set-up by Murdo Macaulay, Coastal Operations Area Commander for the areas aforementioned and National Implementation Lead for the Lost and Missing Persons Search (L&MPS), Coastguard Rescue Teams have joined forces in recent weeks to promote Dementia Friends and interact with local people in the community.

The teams often respond to a variety of incidents involving missing persons who are suffering with dementia – and have hugely benefited from taking part in the programme.

So far, Coastguard Rescue Teams have gathered together twice and numerous more meet-ups are set to take place in the near future – though this is dependent on the current COVID-19 situation.

"Our teams recognise the benefit of understanding the view of the world from a person suffering with dementia – and this will have a huge, positive impact on our capabilities when it comes to search and rescue operations,” said Murdo.

“We are keen to involve more teams in the initiative and look forward to bringing HM Coastguard colleagues together moving forward.”

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