EFFORTS are planned to make Keighley Railway Station more dementia friendly.

Staff will receive training to heighten their awareness of the condition.

Northern Rail is working on the initiative with support from Dementia Friendly Keighley, railway users and the town's ward officer.

"The first stage will be to ensure all staff – on trains and in the station – have an understanding of how dementia might impact on a person," said Paul Smithson, service manager for the Alzheimer's Society in Bradford, Airedale and Wharfedale.

"It is all part of a bigger push to raise awareness."

The society has been a major force in helping to put the Bradford district at the forefront of increasing understanding of dementia and providing support to those with the condition and their carers.

Five years ago, in partnership with Bradford Council, it launched the Dementia Friendly Communities Project.

The scheme runs across all five of the district's Parliamentary constituencies.

More than 100 organisations have become 'dementia friendly' through training and awareness-raising sessions.

And there are 23 wellbeing cafes.

The project aims to encourage communities to develop practical support for people affected by dementia and their families and carers and provide guidance to other services.

"We want people to continue to live as normal a life as possible without the stress, stigma and social isolation which often come with the condition," said Mr Smithson.

"For example, a person could go shopping and forget their PIN number and get stressed or upset. Then the person on the till or other shoppers in the queue get impatient. That person may feel that they can't go out again, that it's their fault.

"We are supporting communities to have more awareness of things like this."

The society trains people to be dementia friends through induction and awareness days and they are then encouraged to pass their training on to others.

Currently, there are over 6,500 friends across the Bradford district.

Simon Baker, health and wellbeing service manager with Bradford Council, says everyone has a shared responsibility to do what they can.

He added: "Dementia is something which will directly or indirectly affect everyone at some point in their lives so we feel that it is not just down to the NHS, Alzheimer's Society or other voluntary organisations to protect and take care of people affected by it.

"It is a collective responsibility, so dementia-friendly communities and dementia friends is a vital way to keep people connected, to feel safe and to have someone looking out for them."

* Music, street theatre, singing and children's activities will feature in a Dementia Friendly Fete at Keighley's Airedale Shopping Centre this Saturday (May 20).

The event, staged by the Dementia Friendly Keighley group, will run from 10am to 3pm in the shopping centre's events space.

It will include live music by the Woolpack Concert Band with a wide variety of songs to suit all tastes and ages.

There will be a seated exercise class demonstration at 1.30pm and a singalong by the Singing Teapot group at 2pm.

Street Theatre will be staged by Markmark Productions.

The children's activities will run from 11.15am till noon and again from 1.45pm to 3pm in the former Body Shop unit.

Although the stalls will be open from 10am, there will be an official opening with Kris Hopkins and the Keighley town mayor at 11am.