RSPB staff sign up help more visitors

Volunteers Sara and John at RSPB Bempton Cliffs polish up their sign language skills.
Volunteers Sara and John at RSPB Bempton Cliffs polish up their sign language skills.

With thousands of visitors each year, the team at RSPB Bempton Cliffs is constantly looking at ways to make all visitors feel more at home.

As part of their continual aim to improve the experience of those who come from all over the world to see the seabird spectacle on the Yorkshire coast, staff and volunteers took part in a Dementia Friends event, hosted by Tim Kirkup, a Dementia Champion, from Alzheimer’s UK.

The informative session covered how the condition can affect people, how it may manifest itself in behaviour and how to approach difficult situations.

Maria Prchlik, RSPB Bempton Cliffs’ communications officer, arranged the visit.

She said: “Around 850,000 people in the UK suffer from some form of dementia, which not only affects memory but also the ability to enjoy the things in life that others take for granted – such as a walk along the cliff tops.

“If we can help people experience the natural world just a little longer by understanding their needs a little better, we’ll all feel it’s been a ‘good day at the office.”

Other members of the Bempton team are also getting to grips with British Sign Language. A regular Wednesday afternoon meeting has seen the team progress from letters of the alphabet to useful phrases.