More than 1,000 London Stansted Airport staff have become Dementia Friends, completing awareness training organized by the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society.
The airport is working with the charity to train all staff, from security officers and office workers to firefighters and engineers, in a bid to make Stansted a dementia-friendly community.
Stansted is now rolling out the scheme even further and encouraging the 200 on-site businesses to make all 12,000 people who work at the airport dementia aware.
Lucy Martin, accessibility manager at London Stansted Airport, said, “An airport can be particularly stressful for a passenger living with dementia, so we’ve teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to make sure that those passengers get the best support possible at every point during the airport journey.”
The training looks at the whole airport environment and how it can present extra challenges to people living with dementia. It’s one of several schemes the airport has in place to make the airport accessible for people with hidden disabilities, including dementia, autism, and other disabilities that aren’t obviously visible to others.
The airport uses the Sunflower Scheme, where passengers can wear an Airport Awareness Sunflower lanyard or floret to discreetly indicate to staff that they have a hidden disability and would like additional support. Staff are trained to recognize these identifiers and offer extra help during a passenger’s journey through the terminal.