Community360 along with their partners recognised Dementia Action Week 2019, putting on a range of special activities – including walks, information events, a virtual dementia bus, afternoon teas and garden fetes – as part of a special programme of events.
Tracy Rudling, CEO of Community360 said “Everyone worked really hard to deliver a programme of events to not only help raise awareness but celebrate some of the great work that is taking place across the county to improve how we care for those living with dementia.”
Organisations such as The Alzheimer’s Society, Essex Partnership University Foundation (EPUT), Dementia Action Alliance Partners, Foxburrow Grange Care Home and Colchester Borough Council all took part in events throughout the week.
The ONE Colchester Hub was the focal point for the launch of Dementia Awareness Week. With the Mayor Cllr Peter Chillingworth officially opening the week of activities. Cllr Chillingworth shared a cup of tea and cake, speaking to those living with dementia and chatting to people about the aim to make Colchester a more dementia friendly community. Colchester United Football legend Bobby Hunt also popped in for a cup of tea and sing song!
With the ongoing publicity surrounding the benefits of children interacting with those living with dementia, children from Broomgrove Junior School wanted to get involved with Dementia Action Week.
Amanda Mouat, Learning Mentor at Broomgrove Junior said, “She was delighted that the children’s school council took it upon themselves and initiated the idea of what they would like to do during Dementia Action Week.”
She added. “It is so important from a young age that they know what is going on in their community and how they can help. This is the first year we have done anything like this, and it has been fantastic and something we would like to continue to support. It has been a wonderful project for them.
They all thoroughly enjoyed visiting the ONE Colchester Hub, chatting to those living with dementia, helping with craft projects and meeting the Mayor! Later in the week Leo Johnston one of our year 6 pupils put together a PowerPoint presentation which he presented to the whole school with Christine Horn from the Alzheimer’s Society, a really lovely finale to Dementia Action Week.”
“it was great to see so many local people come out in support of Dementia Action Week and so lovely to see young children getting involved too.” Said Tracy.
“I am sure that many people benefited from the advice and signposting on offer from the organisations who participated in the week of activities.
In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia; it is estimated that around 400,000 people have dementia but do not know it. By raising awareness about this condition, it is hoped that more people will be diagnosed earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms and getting the care and support going forward they need.
Dementia Action Week might have come to an end, but we would like to encourage organisations to sign up to the Dementia Action Alliance.” Continued Tracy.
“We have some great organisations already signed up such as Abbey Field Medical Centre and St Helena Hospice.”
Caroline Vince, Head of Learning at Development at St Helena said: “The Dementia Action Alliance has been the catalyst to help us engage with a range of education opportunities relating to dementia.”
“In 2018, we made a commitment to the Essex DAA to complete three actions. Firstly, we began to deliver ‘The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Information Sessions’, these were open to all staff and volunteers and to date we have 98 Dementia Friends. We also hosted a ‘Caring for those Dying with Dementia at the End of Life’ study morning. Finally, we launched in-house dementia awareness training with a bold aim to roll this training out to all clinical staff, so far 35 staff already have already received this training.
St Helena has encouraged staff to complete a range of other useful learning opportunities such as the ‘Certificate in Principles of Dementia Care’ provided via The Skills Network or the ‘Virtual Dementia Tour’ available via Training 2 Care.
All staff have been encouraged to engage with these opportunities, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Find out more about joining the Colchester Dementia Action Alliance https://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/local_alliances/