Asda staff will be trained to support shoppers suffering from dementia as part of the supermarket’s strategic partnership with The Open University.

Asda is the first UK supermarket to launch such a programme, with its staff in Scotland taking part in sessions to learn how to help those living with the disease.

Training kicked-off in Livingston last week and further sessions are due to take place across Scotland in the coming months.

Asda’s community life champions received advice about how to care for shoppers with dementia and shared their experiences of helping dementia sufferers in-store.

“Our champions will share the tips, tools and techniques they have learned with their colleagues in-store,” said Asda’s Scottish regional director Kevin McBride.

“We want to play our part in building more dementia-friendly communities across Scotland. Asda is keen to develop the partnership further, and encourage other retailers and service providers to embrace learning about dementia to develop their staff.”

Over 88,000 people suffer from the disease in the Scotland and The Open University hope the training will have a wider impact on Scottish communities.

“Through these workshops we hope that both ASDA and their communities will reap the benefits of more people gaining an understanding of dementia,” said Dr James Miller, director of The Open University in Scotland.