Wembley Stadium (cap. 90,000) has become the first national stadium to be dementia friendly, as part of the FA’s partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society.

The venue’s owners the Football Association (FA) has worked with the Alzheimer’s Society to put in place a series of changes at the stadium, following an audit of the venue by people affected with dementia. The participants were invited to attend two matchdays and provide feedback.

Measures include bespoke training to public-facing staff like matchday stewards, information on ticketing receipts and the Wembley Stadium website and increased visibility of current services available, such as its dedicated lifts and accessible shuttle service.

The FA is also backing Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Sports Clubs and Venues guide. The new guidance is designed for grounds and stadiums of all sizes, to help make sure all fans are supported, understood and know where to get help on gamedays. The guidance has already gained support from the Premier League and The Racecourse Association.

Alzheimer’s Society CEO Kate Lee said, “Passion for sport stays with people long after a dementia diagnosis, so these improvements to one of the world’s most iconic football stadiums, in a national first, is set to be another legacy of our fantastic partnership with The FA and will make a massive difference to thousands of fans up and down the country.

“We want to see all sports showing their commitment to giving fans with dementia a smooth journey from sofa to stands and we’re really pleased to see our landmark guidance be so well received by organisations across multiple sports. We hope it helps foster a more inclusive, accessible and welcoming environment for sports fans with dementia, so they can continue to be at the heart of the action.”

Wembley Stadium director Liam Boylan said, “The changes we’ve made at Wembley are the first steps in ensuring that those who are affected by dementia are not excluded from the beautiful game and can continue to enjoy the sport they love safe in the knowledge that their support and wellbeing is our top priority.

“Sport has an unrivalled ability to inform, educate and put a spotlight on important issues and we look forward to continue working closely with Alzheimer’s Society to raise funds and awareness to help provide desperately-needed support to the 900,000 people with dementia in the UK.”

The FA has extended its official charity partnership with Alzheimer’s Society until July 2024. Over the past two seasons, the partnership has raised over £400,000.

There are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, enough to fill Wembley Stadium 10 times over.