New resources for Dementia Friends Champions

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!

Ann-Marie Snelsen

Dementia Friends – Regional Support Officer

 

14 thoughts on “New resources for Dementia Friends Champions

  1. Maureen Chivers

    I, too, did my Champion’s Training in April and was surprised that we weren’t provided with a session plan at that stage. However, I did my own, based on the ‘key messages’ document. I intersperse the exercises with 2 sections: ‘Difficulties Experienced by People living with Dementia’ and ‘Ways you can help someone living with dementia’. I use a PowerPoint presentation with the bullet points for these sections. I have the basics of my presentation typed out on postcard-sized cards and keep an eye on the clock, but have found that the presentation just nicely fills an hour, allowing plenty of opportunity for involvement and sharing with the relatively small groups I have had so far. I did my plan before the Penny Exercise was taken off the resources and have found it extremely effective and well-received. I replaced it with the Cup of Tea exercise for my two most recent sessions, but would still like to be free to use the Penny Exercise on occasions.

  2. Valerie Smith

    I have a close friend who has been diagnosed with Dementia, she won’t except it I was wondering if there is a group organised in Lewes, Sussex, it is very difficult for her Husband as he never gets a break.
    Thank you.
    Valerie

  3. Hannah Rapley

    Thanks for this Ann – Marie. I think it is really useful that you are well placed to know what resources Dementia Friends champions might need as you were one before obtaining your current post. Congratulations! I think the plan and guidance notes are really useful resources. Although we developed a plan during my champion session, I felt like iyou in that I was really nervous in holding my first session especially as it took a while to organise. Thanks to the team for listening to feedback and adding to the materials. Are any resources planned for helping champions to carry out sessions for younger people as these are sessions that I feel very nervous about carrying out.

  4. Jan Clark

    As a dementia friend I decided to start a monthly meeting at our church called ‘Memory Lane’ for those with dementia, their carers & anyone who cares. During the time together we sing , have coffee and enjoy cake.

  5. Wendy

    I would like to be a.dementia friend, beause i have a family meber who has got dementia. If any one would like to talk to nr about dementia. I would like to help people if there need help if it only for a chat. Your friend. Wendy.

  6. Christine Smith

    When we attended the Dementia Champions training session last autumn, Anne-Marie stated that we could download a “Handbook” and this was listed on the Dementia Friends Website – so far, L am unable to find this to download – any ideas on where I can find this? So far, we have been actively been involved in gaining dementia friends and raising awareness – this information will be recorded in due course.

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Christine – many thanks for your message and for all you are doing as a Dementia Friends Champion.

      In order to access all the Champions resources, including the Champions handbook, please head to our website and log in to your Champions account: https://asdf.secure.force.com/WEBLogin

      Once logged in there is a link on the left hand side to Champions resources. If you have not entered your Champions code yet then you will need to in order to access the resources. You will have been sent this code via email after your training.

      If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing dementiafriends@alzheimers.org.uk

      Many thanks for your support.

      Kind regards,

      Lucien

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Maureen – thanks for your message. Sorry to hear you are experiencing difficulties ordering resources. Can you provide more details on what is happening when you try to order them from the website?

      Alternatively, you can call our customer care team on 0300 222 5855 for assistance.

      We do also have this video guide which shows you exactly how to order resources: https://vimeo.com/151784959

      Best wishes,

      Dementia Friends

  7. Isabel

    Hello everybody
    I am looking to start a information session on the 30th of September.
    I already ordered the badges and the cards however I think I should also order the “books”, shouldn’t I?
    I mean people receive a book when they attend the sessions for the first time.
    My goal is to invite staff in my company who doesn’t usually have any knowledge of dementia but still contact them in an everyday basis.
    Probably its a big job but at the end I would like the entire company become a Dementia Friend environment.
    Can anyone give some advice please?
    Thank you
    Isabel

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Isabel – thanks for your message, great to hear you have an Information Session planned. Sounds like a brilliant target to try and get all your colleagues on board!

      Those who attend the Information Sessions do not receive the ‘Little Book of Friendship’ at the Sessions. It is only those who become a Dementia Friend via the online video route who then receive the book in the post. That is because the Information Sessions covers everything that is in the book and in more detail.

      There are lots of resources available on your Champions dashboard which can help with your planning, promoting and delivery of your Sessions. Furthermore, you can contact your Regional Support Officer Christine Sherringham for support and advice: c.sherringham@alzheimers.org.uk

      Best wishes,

      Dementia Friends

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