Achievements over the last 12 months...
Over the last 12 months, people living with dementia in Cannock Chase have seen an increase in awareness and help thanks to a number of successful initiatives delivered by the local Dementia Action Alliance.
Cannock Chase Council has been working with Staffordshire County Council and voluntary sector agencies towards making the District dementia-friendly.
Since July 2016, local organisations and businesses from across Cannock Chase District have now come together to form the ‘Cannock Chase Dementia Action Alliance` and meet on a monthly basis.
Successful initiatives have been taking place across the District to establish a supporting infrastructure with the aim of creating an improved and safe environment for those living with dementia, their families and carers. The key highlights include:
- Cannock Chase Council is a member of the Dementia Action Alliance and was instrumental in organising the `dementia friendly` launch event in Cannock Town Centre. This event was extremely well attended and raised awareness about the support available to people living with dementia. To compliment this, the Council has coordinated the production of a Dementia What`s On Guide which provides a summary of the activities and organisations that are available in the District.
The Council also has a number of Dementia Friends Champions who are able to deliver Dementia Information Sessions. Training has been delivered to staff at C Residential in Rugeley and Cannock Chase Radio.
- Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group and a number of GP practices have recently signed up to the local Dementia Action Alliance and have received Dementia Friends training. A training event was also held for practice nurses and district nurses with Worcester University. 70 nurses from across Stafford, Cannock and Rugeley attended. Over 300 copies of the What`s On Guide have also been issued to general practices.
- Staff at Hednesford Park have organised a number of dementia friendly activities and training over the last couple of months including workshops with Hednesford Army Cadets and the Girls Venture Air Corps Cadets as part of Dementia Awareness Week.
The Dementia Action Alliance also funded a `Forget-me-not` sculpture in the park which is positioned along the route for the dementia walk. This has helped raise awareness of dementia and enables people in wheelchairs and of small height to touch and explore the sculpture.
The park`s Community Gardener also attended a Young at Heart Group as part of Dementia Awareness Week and delivered an outreach activity which involved planting `forget-me-not` and foxglove seeds. These were then planted in the Blossom Garden in Hednesford Park.
- Havenly Care Ltd has also joined the Dementia Action Alliance and has recently opened a new day centre for the elderly in Heath Hayes, Cannock. The new premises provide a genuine, warm and comfortable environment for the elderly and people living with dementia. Its aim is to enhance its client’s day by providing fun and interesting activities whilst socialising with other individuals in a relaxed atmosphere. For more information about this service, contact 01543 899538.
- In addition to this, library staff across the District have started to receive Dementia Friends training which continues to be rolled out and have been giving away twiddlemuffs, produced by the libraries `Knit & Natter` groups. Cannock Library has also recently launched its Dementia Support Area which includes a relevant stock of books all in one area plus relevant leaflet information.
- The Museum of Cannock Chase, part of Inspiring healthy lifestyles has also delivered a range of participatory traditional workshops based on inspiration from the landscape and the natural materials on Hednesford Hills. These workshops have included willow weaving, the heathland tapestry programme, canal art and hedgerows and harmonies. To find out about future events contact the Museum on 01543 877666.
Museum staff have also received Dementia Friends training and have a fully trained Dementia Champion.
- The Regional Community Team at Midcounties Co-operative has also taken part in training events to become Dementia Friends in conjunction with their fundraising initiatives for The MASE Group.
- The MASE Group has recently been recognised with a national honour, the British Citizen Award for their services to the community. Many carers experience social isolation and this is especially true when caring for someone with a dementia type illness. The MASE Group helps to reduce this problem and aims to provide social support and information for people with dementia, their carers, family and friends. For more information contact Daphne on 01785 211140.
County Councillor Alan White, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said: “Dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing the county, so it is good to see so many activities taking place and the community coming together to help support people with dementia, along with their carers and families.
“As a county council we are committed to ensuring residents have access to the support they need to lead as fulfilled and independent lives for as long as we very much recognise the devastating impact dementia can have not only on individuals, but on their family and friends. This is why we are doing everything we can to ensure people can get access to the support they need in their local community.”
Councillor Muriel Davis, Leader of Health and Wellbeing for Cannock Chase Council, said: “It’s great to see the amount of work that has been undertaken across the District and I’m very pleased to see the increased membership of the local Dementia Action Alliance. This work helps to improve the quality of life for the increasing number of people living with the condition.
“I would encourage people to access a copy of the local `What`s On Guide` which provides details of local services available in the Cannock Chase area”.
Mac Cock, Chief Operating Officer for CASS The Carers Association, said: “The Cannock Chase Dementia Action Alliance has been a great platform for sharing information, good practice and increasing awareness and opportunities that support people living with dementia and their families/carers can access. The Alliance has formed a strong network of people who are determined to make positive changes in the Cannock Chase area”
All of these achievements have been made possible thanks to the funding received from the Local Strategic Partnership and the Staffordshire County Councillor`s Community Fund. A small amount of funding is still available from the Dementia Action Alliance and local organisations and services are encouraged to bid for funding to deliver dementia friendly initiatives across Cannock Chase District. For more information contact 01543 464786.
To find out more about the local Dementia Action Alliance and the dementia-friendly work being delivered across the District, contact the Council’s Partnerships Team on 01543 464635 or visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/dementiafriendly