TWO Lanarkshire groups have picked up top gongs at this year's Scotland’s Dementia Awards

Theatre Buddy – based at University Hospital Wishaw – won Best Hospital Care Initiative, while Stonehouse Jubilee Club took home the title for Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative.

Scotland’s Dementia Awards, a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council, sets out to celebrate the inspirational achievements of those making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia and their families.

Dementia Dog Project won Most Innovative Partnership. The project is a charitable collaboration between Alzheimer Scotland and Dogs for Good, and sets out to explore how trained dogs can help improve the wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers.

Fiona Corner, project manager for the Dementia Dog Project, said: “We are over the moon to be named as winners in Scotland’s Dementia Awards.

"This award recognises our pioneering collaboration with the Scottish Prison Service and Paws for Progress CIC at HMP Castle Huntly open prison, to establish the UK’s first prison-based assistance dog training programme.

"Drawing together expertise from across different sectors, this partnership is providing life-changing dementia assistance dogs, while also equipping men in custody with valuable employability skills to help them build a positive future.”

Henry Simmons, Alzheimer Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We have been thrilled to celebrate the work of so many innovative and dedicated individuals alongside the hugely impressive positive collaborations that are taking place.

"Their combined efforts are helping to dramatically improve services, address stigma, break down barriers and ensure that nobody faces dementia alone.

"This year’s winners have set a new precedent and we are delighted to see everyone congratulated for their efforts to support people living with dementia and their families."

Overall winners at the 2018 Scotland’s Dementia Awards:

Best Community Support Initiative: Bridging the gap between acute and community care, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative: Stonehouse Jubilee Club

Best Educational Initiative: Enhancing inpatient care using the Promoting Excellence Framework, NHS Fife

Best Hospital Care Initiative: Theatre Buddy, University Hospital Wishaw

Most Innovative Partnership: Dementia Dog Project