Phoenix Natural Gas, Northern Ireland largest gas distribution company, has become the latest organisation to become Dementia Friendly.
Four Phoenix employees recently completed the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Community Champion Training and have already delivered the accredited workshop to more than 100 colleagues across Phoenix’s operations.
To deliver the course, Phoenix’s Community Champions undertook an intensive two-day training programme, facilitated by the Alzheimer’ Society, which gave the employees a better understanding of dementia and how it affects the 22,000 people living with dementia across Northern Ireland.
The training was then condensed into a two-hour workshop which has been delivered to over 100 Phoenix Natural Gas employees who now carry the Dementia Friendly accreditation. As well as explaining what dementia is, the workshop also highlights how small changes can make a significant difference to the lives of people living with dementia.
Jonathan Martindale, Director of Sales and Marketing at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “We are passionate about delivering the best possible standards of service for our customers which means taking the time to understand and cater for their individual needs.
“A dementia diagnosis can bring a number of challenges for individuals and their families. We are proud to work with the Alzheimer’s Society to help our employees better understand the challenges and to see what steps we can take to make connecting to natural gas less daunting for anyone living with or affected by dementia.”
Pamela Frazer, Alzheimer’s Society said: “We are really pleased to work with Phoenix Natural Gas to deliver Dementia Friends training that equips their team with the knowledge to better understand dementia and to recognise the small steps that can be taken to make life easier for customers with a dementia diagnosis. Being able to show you understand what dementia is makes such a difference to a person with the condition and their families and is so important for businesses, such as Phoenix Natural Gas, who can be working with vulnerable customers every day.”
Ursula O’Kane, Consumer Protection Manager at the Utility Regulator said: “Protecting consumers, especially those more vulnerable, is at the heart of the work of the Utility Regulator. We are delighted to see Phoenix Natural Gas taking positive steps to provide additional support for those affected by dementia. This type of initiative reflects the goals of our Consumer Protection Programme which aims to improve services and produce positive outcomes for all energy and water consumers.
“It is great to see energy and water organisations invest in the knowledge and skills of their people, through initiatives like Dementia Friend, in order to deliver a truly inclusive service to all consumers.”
The Dementia Friendly Accreditation is just one strand of Phoenix Natural Gas’s Responsible Business programme. In 2019 Phoenix also partnered with the NOW Group for JAM (Just A Minute) Training to better support the needs of customers with a learning disability or community barrier.
Full details of Phoenix Natural Gas’ Responsible Business Programme can be found at: www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility