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Hanover AGM hears from dementia expert

An audience of more than 70 people were treated to an enthralling afternoon at Hanover’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 29 September. 

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Members, staff and other attendees heard from special guest speaker, Lesley Palmer, Chief Architect at the Dementia Centre at Stirling University, an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia.

She delivered an enlightening and informative presentation on the hurdles and opportunities faced by individuals and organisations in ensuring homes are suitable for people with dementia – a condition that’s becoming more common amongst older people in Scotland.

Lesley detailed the evolution and importance of designing and building accessible environments, and showed how simple things, like choosing the right colours, contrast, lighting and designs, can make positive differences to people with the condition.

Hanover’s Chief Executive Helen Murdoch said:

“I’d like to thank Lesley for taking the time to discuss this really emotive and relevant subject.

“Designing and building properties suitable for people with dementia is especially pertinent to Hanover as we near completion of one dementia facility and progress the building of a second, both in Moray. 

“The number of people affected by dementia is increasing. As a housing association that prides itself in first class services specifically tailored for older people, we are well aware of how this will affect many of our customers in the future, and are ready to face this challenge. We learned a lot from Lesley today, and I’m looking forward to us putting many of the ideas into action.”

Other highlights of the event included the welcoming of Hanover’s new Company Secretary, Claire Kennedy, to the organisation, and the approval of the organisation’s annual report and financial statements.

Finally, the annual Hanover staff awards ceremony took place. This year’s highlight was the Chief Executive’s award, given to Irene McKenna, the Very Sheltered Housing Manager in Hamilton, who is retiring after 31 years’ service. Helen Murdoch praised Irene for her support, hard work and dedication to Hanover. She said:

“For 31 years, Irene has gone well above and beyond the call of duty for Hanover. She is a manager who has led by example and has been an inspiration to all. Irene thoroughly deserves this award and we all wish her well in her retirement.”

Pictured: Hanover’s Chief Executive Helen Murdoch, with Lesley Palmer, Chief Architect from the Dementia Centre, Stirling University.

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