Dementia Friendly Parishes Around the Yealm
We promote and deliver individual and community based activities and services for people with dementia, their carers and families across the parishes of Wembury, Brixton, Yealmpton , Newton & Noss and Holbeton. We want to make the whole area more dementia friendly and inclusive.
We are a community project that supports people living with a dementia and their families/carers, to remain active and engaged in community life. To achieve this we currently run the following activities;
• A weekly gentle exercise class run by a registered physiotherapist,
• A twice monthly art/craft/hobbies club supported by volunteers with skills and interest in arts and crafts.
• A monthly afternoon tea at Kitley House Hotel where everyone involved in the project, people with dementia and their carers/families, committee members and volunteers get together for a convivial afternoon.
• A Shared Reading Group meets weekly and this has helped people with dementia to take up reading again improving their quality of life with their families.
• A walking group in the Wembury area
These activities provide our clients and their families with something fun to look forward to and a chance to socialise. They help to reduce social isolation in a very rural area and as they are open to all members of the community they help to reduce stigma towards people living with dementia. 15-20 people attend each activity and they are mainly run by volunteers.
We also have a part time paid project worker who provides one to one support to local families who have recently had a dementia diagnosis. This time can be very traumatic for those involved and Maxine, our project worker, helps them to access extra support and services that they might need and to remain engaged in community life as much as possible. We have so far helped over 60 families in this way.
We are a constituted community group with 13 members on the committee. Our committee includes representatives from across the 5 parishes and includes two local reverends and a carer of a person with dementia. We have our own bank account with two unrelated signatories.
To ensure that we are providing a useful and appropriate service, we hold development days, which bring together our service users and the committee. These help to generate ideas for new activities, ways to improve existing activities and ideas to raise awareness of the project and the wider dementia issues.
We need to find approximately £25,000 every year to function and we find this by applying for grants, the occasional legacy and community based fundraising activities. We do not receive any ongoing support from local councils or the health service.
Over the next year we would like to explore how we can best support our clients to become ambassadors for the project i.e. so that they can provide peer to peer support to new clients. This is what we are applying to Grassroots Giving to support.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We would like to run some training events for our clients and their families to encourage and enable them to become peer to peer mentors to other people living with a dementia. The creation of a network of peer to peer mentors would enable more members of our community to be supported than we can currently achieve and if successful it could be a model to use going forwards i.e. as new families get involved in the project.
The mentors could also attend other community events and groups to raise awareness of dementia issues, rather than relying on the committee or Maxine our worker, and therefore they would be another resource to help make the area more dementia friendly.
Living with a dementia or caring for someone with dementia can be a very lonely experience and although we run lots of lovely activities to help people remain engaged in community life, having local mentors who understand what you're going through and who can become a friend can be very valuable.
We would anticipate that 10-15 families would be involved in this element of our project.
"I've been running the reading group for 4 years and I can see that it makes an enormous difference to the lives of those who come along, just to be able to meet up and chat about books and poems over a cup of tea. It's great to be part of this fantastic project. Edna Petrie, Committee Member"