DFC Newsletter Summer 2014

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Call / text: 07825 506606
Social Innovation Lab Kent
Hosted by the Strategic Commissioning Unit (Community Support), Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Kent County Council
Developing Kent as a Dementia Friendly Community
Newsletter: Summer 2014
Welcome to our Summer Newsletter.
It has been a busy three months that has seen the formal launch of the Kent Dementia Action Alliance, a
successful Dementia Awareness week, and a number of Dementia Friends information sessions delivered to
a diverse range of professionals and local people. There have also been local community events at a
number of locations across the county.
In this edition we will hear from some of the local businesses and a school who have received Dementia
Friends information sessions. We will also take a look at what is happening across the county as we
continue to work towards developing Kent as a Dementia Friendly Community with your ongoing support.
Wishing you all a lovely Summer!
Launch of the Kent Dementia Action Alliance
In April the Kent Dementia Action Alliance (KDAA) was launched at a market place event held in Augustine
House, Canterbury. The event was very well attended in addition to the 50 plus stall holders who were
there. During the event there were speeches by Tommy Whitelaw (http://tommy-on-tour2011.blogspot.co.uk) and Keith Oliver from the Forget Me Nots. Videos from the event can be seen here:
The official launch of the Kent DAA was marked by all members coming on stage and cutting the Kent DAA
cake. A big thank you to everyone who came and made the day a success.
Dementia Friends Information Sessions across the County
Thank you from The Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey students
We are Year 12 Psychology, Health and Social students. On 24th June 2014, Tracey Schneider from DFC
Team came to visit us at The Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey. She told us information about
dementia, what it is, who it affects, and how we can help those living with it. In pairs we
completed a worksheet to test our knowledge on dementia. We learnt that our initial opinions
and knowledge was not always correct and how dementia can be portrayed falsely in the media
and news. She also told us about the work of the ‘Dementia Friends’ and how we can become
one to make small differences and how to make the lives of those living with dementia easier. We received
AWESOME badges and a small booklet to provide further information and show our support for dementia.
We learnt so much and are now much more comfortable talking about dementia and is less taboo and we
hope to share our knowledge with others.
ASDA at Greenhithe held a Dementia Friendly meeting to help colleagues and managers identify customers
who could possibly have Dementia. The course really helped us deal with customers who have Dementia
and get them through their shopping experience without causing them any distress. We previously had a
dementia customer who came in every day and helped himself to a sandwich, newspaper and a drink, then
left without paying for them. His wife contacted us and we arranged for her to come in weekly and
pay for what he had taken. This resolved the matter and stopped us having to contact the police.
We feel this session was an asset for our store and thank Tracey Schneider for arranging it.
Andy Wells - Duty Supervisor, Go Coach
We, as an organisation, considered the session important so we could better understand the potential needs
of our passengers. Our routes serve a wide range of passengers and increasing our understanding of a key
group means that we can improve their experience of our service. The training has allowed
us to ensure that our service meets the needs of the community we serve. After the
session, we were able to display some of the information we had collected on a variety of
our buses serving various routes. This was to target suitable volunteers for the
organisations that help support elderly people and to offer information on the services that may be needed by
some of our older passengers. In the longer term, we would like more of our drivers to attend similar training
so that they can learn first-hand how to build a trusting rapport with the older community.
Dementia Action Alliance Champions Network
At the Alliance meeting on 20th June it was agreed that it would be useful to develop a Kent Dementia
Champions Network as a lot of new organisations identify the Friends Information session within their action
plan. It had also been reported that Champions were not getting as much uptake as hoped when they
published sessions on the website. Since the meeting with the support of Hannah Piekarski a request has
been sent to all Kent Champions asking them if they would be interested in supporting a Kent Network. This
has had a good response and we have been contacted by over 40 Champions and we are currently
exploring what this network might look like. In the meantime we are now able to pass on details of
organisations who would like sessions provided to their staff please contact [email protected]
should you need to be put in touch with a local dementia champion.
Projects happening across Kent
Charlotte from Canterbury College attended Age UK to interview Judy
Ayris the dementia outreach worker, this was the final filming session
looking at what a range of people thought constituted a dementia
friendly community. Charlotte is currently editing the film and we hope
to post the final film on our new web site. In response to an approach
from Lorraine from East Kent Independent Dementia Support, Adam
from ASDA attended a meeting and pledged to promote a dementia
friends session in the Canterbury store.
The following is an unedited extract from an email from Carol Sturgeon one of the organisers of the Dementia
Awareness lunches held in Blean Village Hall.
47 people came along to the dementia awareness lunch club and every month since April the numbers have
increased as the word is spread around and new people arrive and regulars return, with others with the same
needs. Judy Ayres (Age UK C/Bury) joined us yesterday for lunch and introduced 2 more residents from Blean
who she has contacts with at the centre. Without exception everyone who comes along and return have
expressed huge appreciation for the volunteers time and catering skills to provide a freshly made home
cooked 3 course lunch for almost 50 people in a welcoming and friendly setting. They welcome the
opportunity for social engagement to relieve isolation and loneliness to balance the challenges presented at
times, by daily lifestyles. We were discussing the imperative and need for a central online - local Kent register
for people who need to find similar services and local contacts as people seem to be finding information (even
professionals) via an ad hoc system of word of mouth, fragmentation of information or need to make endless
phone calls! Hopefully the new web site will provide this service.
Herne Bay / Whitstable
Lisa the Dementia Outreach worker from Age UK has been busy trying to recruit local businesses and
organisations to be involved with the dementia friends information sessions. She has distributed introduction
letters in the community of Whitstable and Herne bay. This included seven schools and is hoping to get some
response from this. In noting that lots of businesses find it challenging to release staff she has offered to do
early sessions before they open or at the end of their working shifts. She has also been promoting the
Alzheimer’s Society Dementia guide for ‘Customer facing staff’ and one of her Age UK clients has sponsored
and purchased these brochures for Lisa to distribute in the community. These are being left in businesses and
organisations that have staff rooms. Lisa has found a positive attitude has come from companies and
organisations who have given this brochure and this can be found here
The launch of Dementia Action Alliance Faversham took place at the
Faversham Town Council Meeting and this was followed by the first
meeting chaired by Alison Carter of No Place Like Home and hosted by
Tassells Solicitors where a number of actions were agreed by the
Emma and Peter from SILK attended the Memory Club at St Christopher’s to carry out insight gathering from
people with dementia and their carers as to what needed to be done in Thanet to make it dementia friendly.
The findings were subsequently presented at the first meeting of the Thanet Dementia Action Alliance hosted
by Age UK. A number of organisations came together and there was an immediate benefit of networking as
the group began planning how best to support Silver Sunday in October. Karen from ASDA Ramsgate was
keen to promote dementia friends sessions with ASDA staff and Lee, a local champion was going to explore
providing sessions for security staff at Westwood Cross. Margate Task Force, a multi-agency team which is
working to improve life in Margate also attended a session delivered at one of their meetings.
Dementia Friendly Deal was formally launched on at an event held at the
Deal Town Hall on the 9th May Charlie Elphick MP presented certificates to
the Deal Town Council and the Golf road Community Centre. The project
funded by Pfizer will continue to promote Deal as a dementia friendly
community and an overview of the project as well as a dementia friends
information session was delivered to some 70 staff as part of the Pfizer
Dementia Alliance action plan.
The South Kent Coast HWBB received a presentation on Dementia Friendly Communities following which
both Dover and Shepway District Councils committed to join the Alliance. The Dover Adult Strategic
Partnership (a meeting of the voluntary organisations across Dover) also received a presentation and will
make a decision about joining the Alliance at their next meeting.
Facilitated by Cleo from Age UK two excellent community events were held looking at what needed to make
Hythe and Lyminge dementia friendly and a further evening session is planned to provide businesses with the
opportunity to become dementia friends. Allison Allen from Community Engagement at KCC continues to
chair a dementia working group with membership coming from a diverse range of organisations and at the last
meeting it was agreed to establish a Shepway Action Alliance.
For the last year at the instigation of the Ashford Clinical Commissioning
Group a Dementia Task and Finish Group has been meeting to develop
actions aimed at addressing the concerns raise at an insight gathering
meeting last year. The outcomes were presented at a very well attended
event held jointly with the dementia friendly community team. One outcome
of this event was to transform the Task and Finish into an Ashford Dementia
Action Alliance and this was presented to the Ashford Health and Well Being Board on 23rd July. As a
member of the Kent Action Alliance, Ashford Borough Council have been proactive in ensuring their staff
attends dementia friends information sessions and encouraging all their housing managers to do likewise.
Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley (DGS)
The three dementia friendly forums across DGS pulled together in May to
produce an event aimed at promoting the ‘Living well with dementia’
agenda. All areas had concluded from the insight gathering that had been
conducted that one of the largest problems facing them was around
communications and awareness, both of dementia and the services
available. Due to this the event named ‘Adventure into Dementia’ was
born, to launch the three separate Dementia friendly forums and to
address the issues around awareness and communications. Using the
specialist advice and assistance from the ADSS Garden Lodge group and
their families we held the event during dementia awareness week. The
response and attendance surpassed expectations and the feedback from both visitors and professionals was
hugely positive, going to prove that proper communications and awareness is one of the key challenges to
making areas ‘Dementia friendly’.
Since the event a smaller community engagement event was held at the Orchards academy school in
Swanley, which again allowed professionals to network and residents to attend for information and advice.
This was a key priority of the Swanley Dementia friendly forum, as local service providers tend to be based
outside of the area. Bringing them into the local area for local engagement twice a year working with the
school was felt to be crucial to enabling Swanley to become Dementia friendly.
Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley all have their own Dementia friendly community forums which are open for
anyone with an interest to attend, for more information about these meetings or the individual areas aims and
priorities please contact [email protected]
Building on the great work being done in Swanley, Sevenoaks in itself is now becoming its own dementia
friendly community. Sevenoaks Council have provided Dementia friend’s sessions to frontline staff and are
now providing more sessions which are open to other agencies and partners.
Hosted by the Sevenoaks Council an initial planning meeting for a Dementia friendly Sevenoaks was held in
July with an open meeting planned for Fri 22nd August 2014 10-12 noon, if you would like to attend please
contact Tracey on the email address above.
Isle of Sheppey and Sittingbourne
Age UK at Sheerness are hosting the dementia friendly Sheppey meetings, which are still in their initial stages
and looking at the aims and priorities of the group which best meet the needs of the people of Sheppey. Initial
thoughts and ideas are around a ‘Sheppey Story’ and working with the local radio station. The Oasis Academy
are also involved and students are becoming Dementia Friends and building some good working relationships
with the local care home and dementia café at Barton Court.
In Sittingbourne we are working with Dementia Inspired and ASDA to develop a Dementia friendly
Sittingbourne, an open ‘workshop’ meeting is now set for August 28th 4-6pm at Phoenix House, Sittingbourne
anyone with an interest in making the area dementia friendly is welcome to attend.
Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells launched its Dementia friendly community forum with a blast in May. A
Jive party took place at the Assembly Rooms, bringing together the members of the
forum and local residents living with dementia. The local MP was still Jiving when many
of us had reached our limits. A great time was had by all and at the local forum meeting
in July some of the clients of the local AgeUK were still happily chatting about the
experience. The forum at Tunbridge Wells are on track with their chosen priorities which
include dementia friendly shops, local awareness and promoting the ‘can do’ attitude to
making an area dementia friendly
Tonbridge and Malling
After a meeting with libraries, Shared Lives and Tracey from the DFC team it was decided to hold a number of
events across libraries in the Tonbridge area throughout Dementia awareness week. We wanted to keep
these events open to all and to encourage the inclusion of people with dementia rather than holding events
specifically for people with dementia. We looked for subjects and ideas that would encourage inclusion and
decided on history and reminiscence, as well as inviting representatives from local dementia and carers
agencies in case people wanted more specific help and information.
Events were held in Tonbridge and Hadlow libraries, working with local historical societies to run the events
which were both well attended with a total of over 50 people. A display was set up in the West Malling library
throughout the week, giving details of the local dementia friendly community of West Malling, the local Age
Concern and the work that is being done both across Kent and locally.
Maidstone Dementia friendly forum met in July and so far is progressing really well with its aim to ensure all
members of the forum receive Dementia Friends information sessions. Many of the agencies who are part of
the forum have provided sessions for staff and Maidstone Borough Council is providing dementia friends
sessions for both staff and other local agencies. The group are also looking at working towards promoting
healthy activities and encouraging participation from local dementia groups. Intergenerational and proactive
work is also a key theme for this group with work being done around sensory life histories involving local
young people.
Afternoon Tea at Oasis Academy, Isle of Sheppey
Kelly and Dem attended the Afternoon Tea event held at the Oasis Academy on the
Isle of Sheppey. This event was hosted by the school and was attended by local
residents from the Barton Court care home and the surrounding area. The pupils did a
brilliant performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. After the
performance there were opportunities for attendees to have a hand massage or have
their nails painted by some of the students who are studying health and beauty. The
school provided a lovely afternoon tea which included tea or coffee, scones with
clotted cream and jam, strawberries and cream. Students who are studying dance
presented a cheque for money they had raised donated it to Barton Court Home.
Dementia Friendly Kent Website
Development of the Dementia Friendly Kent web platform is continuing. We
received feedback on some draft templates at the Kent Dementia Action Alliance
Launch and Marketplace and changes were made based on what people told us
they liked or didn’t like. The Hideout are currently building the site and templates
and once this is done we will be able to start uploading the content. We will then
start to user test the site and welcome volunteers who wish to get involved with
this. If you would like to take part please email: [email protected]