How do I approach new audiences?

Charlotte Adams ask your rso dementia friendEach month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answers one of your Dementia Friends Champions questions. Charlotte Adams, DFO for the North West, answers this month’s question:

‘How do I approach new audiences?

It’s fantastic to hear you are interested in approaching new audiences to deliver Dementia Friends Information Sessions.

Where to start?

A great place to start is to think about your existing networks. Are you a member of any local clubs, faith or community groups who may like a Session? These can be your first port of call. Outside of any groups you may be part of yourself, you could also ask friends or family if they have any links to any groups in the area.

How to approach a new group?

Think about the benefits to the group or organisation beforehand. As one in 14 people over 65 will have dementia at any one time, nearly everyone will know someone affected by dementia, so it is important to us all, to understand more and support those living with it. For a business, they may have customers affected by dementia or staff members with personal experience. Community groups can play a key role in the local area so they can be vital in helping to create a dementia-friendly community, by having a greater understanding of dementia.

  • A good selling point is that the Session will only take 45- 60 minutes and they will be helping to create dementia-friendly communities.
  • The Local Business Engagement toolkit in the session resources section of your champion dashboard, has a letter that you can leave behind. This explains more about the initiative, and how it can be relevant for them as an organisation. 
  • When approaching a new audience, it can be worth checking beforehand who would be the best person to make contact with. For community groups, that may be the group leader and for a business, it may be a community champion or learning development team. 
  • Face to face can often work well as it gives them a chance to see your enthusiasm as a Dementia Friends Champion, and ask any questions they may have. 

Campaigns

With the launch of #Teamdementiafriends, this is a fantastic opportunity to engage with football clubs in your area. We have produced a list of professional clubs and resources to help you with this. You could even think about what other sports groups are in your area; whether it is cricket, rugby or tennis.

Dementia Friends Resources

We would like Dementia Friends to be accessible to everyone. So we have produced a range of resources to support you, if the standard Information Session would not be suitable for the group. In the Adapting Your Session section, you can find resources for delivering Dementia Friends to BAME Communities, adults with learning disabilities and top tips for delivering to people affected by dementia, large groups and small groups. We run a range of webinars to support you in delivering to different audiences.

Pre-Checks to run

When you are delivering to a new audience, it can be worth asking the organiser about any needs of the group beforehand. It may be that not everyone speaks English as their first language or that the group may prefer working in pairs to do activities. You can talk through the activities beforehand with the leader to decide which session plan would be most appropriate and which activities they think group would enjoy most.

Your DFO is also there to support you with ideas of places to run Sessions and how to approach different groups.

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