PETS at Home has partnered with a leading dementia charity to make life easier for customers living with dementia.

Over the course of Dementia Action Week, staff and customers in Swindon and across the country raised more than £50,000 for Alzheimer’s Society, through sales of pin badges and other initiatives like bake sales.

The money raised will be used towards supporting the work of the Alzheimer’s Society in offering information and support, funding research and campaigning to improve care.

As part of the partnership, more than 13,400 Pets at Home, Groom Room and Vets4Pets staff in all 440 plus stores are to become dementia friends.

Swindon store manager Craig Timbrell explained: “Following the dementia friends training, our team will be more confident in assisting customers exhibiting behaviours commonly associated with the condition and we really hope that customers and families who are affected by dementia will feel welcomed and comfortable whilst shopping in our store.”

The project came about following the experience of a store manager elsewhere in the company who became a dementia friend after his mother was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 56. When the chief executive Peter Pritchard heard he decided the manager's initiative should be implemented nationwide.

Emma Bould from the society said: "Something as simple as store colleagues, as well as other customers, being a bit more patient will make a huge difference to the day to day lives of people living with dementia.”

More than 2.4 million people have become dementia friends since the scheme was launched.

”In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes and almost everyone knows someone whose life has been affected. Yet too many people face the condition alone, without adequate support," said Emma.

More than 850,000 people in the UK have a form of the condition and by 2021 it is expected that a million will have it.