How Iceland Foods is taking the fight to dementia

Sir Malcolm Walker, founder, chairman and chief executive of Iceland Foods Ltd, is proud to be an Alzheimer’s Society ambassador. Here he shares his hopes for the future in the store-wide fight against dementia.

Dementia Friends at Iceland Foods

Like many people, I didn’t pay too much attention to dementia until it affected my own family directly. From the moment it did, in 2010, I have been passionate about supporting dementia awareness and research.

When I decided to get Iceland involved, I thought it would be a hard sell but in fact it wasn’t: quite the reverse. I quickly discovered that almost every colleague and customer knows someone affected by dementia now, or has been in the past.

Dementia Friends at Iceland Foods

Raising awareness

I am delighted that we were able to support the Memory Walks across the UK last autumn. The Dementia Research Retail Partnership we created is on course to raise £20 million from the sale of 5p carrier bags. This will go towards supporting the new UK Dementia Research Institute.

But it’s not just about money. By raising the profile of dementia in our stores and on our carrier bags, we have helped to improve awareness and understanding of the condition across the country.

I am thrilled and proud to become the first food retailer in the UK to roll out the Dementia Friends programme to all 23,000 of our store colleagues.

Understanding how someone living with dementia sees the world has been a real eye-opener for so many of our colleagues. It has helped to make dementia part of our everyday conversations.

Fundraising with Iceland Foods

United against dementia

I want Iceland to be recognised as the UK’s number one dementia-friendly retailer.

Being part of the Dementia Friends programme will ensure we consider the needs of people living with the condition. Our commitment to Dementia Friends has expanded beyond stores into our head office.

Whether it’s our store colleagues in the aisles, cashiers at the tills, home delivery drivers, store managers or contact centre call-handlers, we are well on our way to ensuring that there is a Dementia Friend at every stage of our customers’ shopping experience.

Our vision is that our entire workforce will understand more about dementia and how to help people living with the condition.

I am very proud to be an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society. My hope is that with our fundraising, and by joining Dementia Friends, Iceland will help to make life a little easier for those affected by dementia.

Next steps

17 comments

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All the more reason to shop at Iceland.

what fantastic news about Iceland and Malcolm Walker's pledge, let us hope that this is just the start of many retailers joining the campaign,.

Well said! I am a Dementia Friend, it was an eye opener isn't?
I got to do my Dementia Friend badge so that I could be able to help and support families.
My Housing Association gave me that chance, for what I am truly thankful.
Well done Iceland!!! Let's see other's follow Them.

British Ironworks at Oswestry Memory Walk this year is the 16th of September to raise funds for the Alzheimer's society and we are also setting D.A.A. in Oswestry to make everyone dementia friendly.

One of the best things I have bought to stimulate my wife who has severe dementia is a Portable Rechargeable Record Player. Low and behold I bought it from Iceland in Grimsby!

Great news, I shall feel more relaxed shopping at a place like Iceland with my husband who has severe dementia, I am NOT going to isolate him and want to do "normall" things in the community as much as possible, Dementia friends please where your badge so that we recognise you and can feel free to talk to you,

My Wife alzheimer patient. I use mobile Gana app for her.

never seen record players in grimsby bethlehem st. just food.wife has dementia.

Thank you very much Malcolm Walker, Iceland Foods. Fantastic news that you are highlighting and educating people about this cruel disease.My Brother was only 52 when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Only 54 now. I would like to make everyone more aware that this does not only happen to older people. My Brother....intelligent person, had good jobs, ate healthily, didn't drink, never smoked, went to the gym, so a huge shock to all his family when his life suddenly changed and I, as a Sister, see him deteriate every time I see him which is totally heartbreaking.

This is fantastic news, well done Iceland foods. It is now time for all retail outlets to get on board. I lost my dear mother last year to dementia with lewy bodies and my father, whom I still care for has vascular. Shopping can be a daunting task for a person living with dementia as many shops are far from dementia friendly environments; too much noise, light and shiny floors. We should include not exclude those living with the disease from everyday tasks. Being a dementia champion I along with other champions are trying to educate retailers but more needs to be done. Gail

16 volunteers in the community shop I run are all dementia friends. Even got my surgery to be dementia friends.

That's great Lilian! Thanks so much for helping make the world a more dementia-friendly place.

Well done Iceland.............AAA

my husband has alziemer's but it has affected his mobility and is in a wheelchair and not all shops and stores are wheelchair friendly as the Isles are too crowded so quite often I have to leave him at home. Please can all store managers make sure the isles are clear.

Hi This is great news. I am a dementia friends trainer living in Matlock Derbyshire and would be more than happy to do some training in our local Iceland store!

Thank you Iceland and Malcolm Walker. I never shopped much in Iceland but i do now. My husband also has to use a wheelchair so have to pick which shops to use.Iceland being one of them. Told my friends also.

Well done Iceland did not realize so involved in Dementia frendly will shop there more often now my wife suffers from alzheimers

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