Having enjoyed my volunteer role as a Dementia Friends Champion, I was excited to see in a Dementia Friends newsletter that Dementia Friends was recruiting a West Midlands Regional Support Officer and I jumped at the opportunity. Since joining the team, I have noticed several changes to resources for Dementia Friends Champions, which as an existing Champion I have found really helpful.
These new resources for Dementia Friends Champions are available online, so take a look!
When I completed my training back in April, I came away feeling really enthusiastic and raring to go. However, by the time I had gathered my friends and family together for my first information session, feeling a bit nervous, I was concerned I wouldn’t cover all the key points within an hour. Armed with the new session plan and guidance notes, Champions needn’t miss anything from an information session again. The one-page session plan is a really simple tool to ensure you cover all the necessary parts of an information session. I have found it a really useful prompt when delivering sessions – it also helps keep my timing on track! I think the guidance notes complement the session plan really well, giving you the finer details required for each session. Everything you need to do can be found in the guidance notes with step by step instructions. I would really recommend Champions use these resources to guide the delivery of every information session – they really are helpful! Just log onto your dashboard and download them from the resources link.
There have also been some other developments to Dementia Friends resources since I became a Champion last April. Following Champions feedback, the ‘Penny’ exercise has now gone and many other resources have been created. Champions have informed us they really like ‘The Bookcase Analogy‘ but that a guidance sheet would be good. Having left it a few weeks before delivering my first session, I too felt I would have benefited from a guidance sheet. Trying to remember exactly what Carerra had said in my training proved difficult in practice. A new easy-to-follow guidance sheet is available online and explains in simple steps how to deliver the analogy well.
My favourite new resource has to be the infocards. In the training session I attended, Carerra mentioned that infcards would be arriving in the near future. Now they are here! It is really important all Friends receive an infocard, as they contain a lot of important information. Infocards remind Friends of the five things everyone should know and provide some examples of how to turn this understanding into action. They also have instructions for Friends to record their actions online as well as how to find further information, as they often have questions we cannot answer as Champions. If you haven’t yet ordered your infocards, don’t worry, it’s really easy. When you have attended Champions training and entered your code online, you will have access to your dashboard. Here you can order you infocards and badges, by simply clicking ‘order 50 badges/info cards’. Within 10 working days your order will arrive at your door. Each time you deliver an information session Friends should take away a badge and a card.
I hope you find these resources as helpful as I have, and remember to contact your Regional Support Officer if you need any further support.
Good luck in your upcoming sessions and let us know what you think of the new resources!
Dementia Friends – Regional Support Officer