Sarah Williams-Martin, from Bath, has won a National Dementia Friendly Award in the Dementia Friends Champion of the Year category, at a prestigious ceremony in London.
The winners were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony on Thursday 22nd November, hosted by Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Angela Rippon.
Sarah was one of three finalists in the Dementia Friends Champion of the Year category. The award recognises the action taken by Dementia Friends Champions to raise awareness, challenge misperceptions and inspire change through running Information Sessions.
Sarah Williams-Martin said: “I was so honoured to have been nominated for this award. I am totally shocked and overwhelmed that I have won, especially in light of the fantastic finalists who I think are also winners.
“Dementia Champions can make such a difference to the lives of the people living with dementia and their carers and it is wonderful that the Alzheimer’s Society recognises this.
“I’m humbled that people took the time and effort to complete a submission for me, and I would like to thank my fantastic team of volunteers for their support.
“I am hoping that the work I have started will be a catalyst for change and that Bath and North East Somerset will be a dementia-friendly county for future generations.”
As an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Champion, Sarah has demonstrated extraordinary drive and commitment creating more than 700 Dementia Friends, as well as encouraging others in the local area to become Dementia Friends Champions.
Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative with the aim of increasing awareness and understanding of dementia. Dementia Friends Champions are volunteers who help tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that often surrounds dementia.
Sarah founded and leads the Bath and North East Somerset’s Dementia Action Alliance, which has grown to become an established and recognised charity with 47 volunteers and a core group of four trustees.
The B&NES DAA has helped over 200 businesses and organisations to better understand dementia and take steps to become more dementia-friendly.
Broadcaster and Dementia Friends Champion Charlie Webster presented Sarah with the award on the night and said: “It was really nice to meet Sarah because after I congratulated her when we walked out she got really emotional and told me a bit about how difficult it’s been.
“It just shows what a massive impact dementia has not just on individuals but on families – it affects everyone. She is amazing.
“It was a privilege for me to hand over the award to Sarah and really humbling because she’s inspirational but I hope the award will help her with the fight she’s got on her hands.
“The fight against dementia is a cause that is close to my hear because I lost my Nan to dementia. And she still makes me smile when I think of her, which is strange because I really miss her.
“But she really has motivated me to support the Alzheimer’s Society and when I see the incredible work that people like Sarah are doing it makes me smile because people with dementia are now getting the help and support they deserve from people across our communities.”