Category Archives: Champions Corner

Exeter City FC supporting people affected by dementia

 

As part of Exeter City Football Club’s commitment to the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) the One Game One Community match event was held at St James Park. The event enabled over 40 people living with dementia and their families to enjoy complimentary tickets to the Exeter v Luton Town game.

Gina Awad who leads EDAA delivered two Dementia Friends sessions to staff at the Club, one in the Soring and the second as part of #TeamDementiaFriends campaign. The Club were inspired to go the extra mile recognising the need for further dementia awareness in the community.

A summary of the event included; all the players sporting t-shirts for their warm up illustrating “working towards a dementia friendly city’, EDAA had a stand in Red Square raising awareness, use of the community Hospitality box for specially invited guests, a feature in the programme and a bucket collection.

In addition at half time Exeter City Council officially joined as the latest members of the alliance, honouring their commitment and action towards a dementia friendly city.

One attendee bought her 90 year old father to the match and encapsulated her feelings, she said

“It was such a lovely day yesterday. My father cannot remember how long it is since he last saw a football match, but he thinks it is at least 60 years. It is the only time my father and my son have had ‘man time’ together as well. For me, the day is a memory that I will always want to retain, along with the photos and the Exeter City FC hat I bought my father. He simply loved it every moment of the day, the hot dog, the hot chocolate, the game and spending time with family. My son, the football fan, is now trying to get the rest of the family along to a game to enjoy the atmosphere, so maybe Exeter City FC will have some new fans as well. Thank you for making a magical day for us all”.

Gina said “we have received some truly heartfelt responses as a result of the event and this illustrates how meaningful our work really is for people living with dementia in the community and their families. What was wonderful to see was the uptake from local care homes and their residents a focus that felt important to pursue”.

All that was needed for a perfect end to the day was a goal from Exeter City but it wasn’t meant to be!

A Year’s Worth of Questions – Ask Your DFO

Ask your DFOEach month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answer one of your Dementia Friends Champions questions.

This month we have put together all the questions you asked our DFO’s through the year in one place. You can see the questions and click on them to see the answers!

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Dementia Friendly Awards 2016: Meet the finalists for Dementia Friends Champion of the Year

This award celebrates the action taken by Dementia Friends Champions to raise awareness, challenge misconceptions and inspire change through running Information Sessions.

The nominations for this award demonstrated the passion and motivation of Dementia Friends Champions across England and Wales. Champions are not only running Information Sessions and helping others to learn more about dementia; they are then going on to inspire change in all areas of their communities. Here are the three finalists:

Gina Awad

Gina’s work in the Exeter area to help support and empower people affected by dementia has had a real impact on the community. Since becoming a Champion back in 2014, Gina has reached over 1200 Dementia friends by delivering nearly 100 Sessions, both public and private.

Gina’s passionate style has inspired a cross section of organisations to not only hold Dementia Friends Sessions but to go on and take further actions that are making a big difference for those affected by dementia.  For example, Gina has formed and developed partnerships with the local football club, cinema and a number of GP health centres in addition to many others. The results have seen dementia friendly cinema screenings, signage adjustments and a dementia awareness day booked for later this year at Exeter City Football Club.

Gina believes the Dementia Friends initiative has been the fundamental resource in creating local changes and inspiring so many in Exeter.

As one carer said to Gina:

“You are a true advocate for people living with dementia and their families. Thank you for all your work to improve matters for us”.

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Ask your DFO – Dementia Friends Champions

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

Why is it important to signpost during my Information Sessions?

Take into account that everyone will have different reasons for attending but it is important to remember that people have signed up to attend an Information Session and become Dementia Friends. If someone asks a question, this will be more than likely not be relevant to everyone in the room so signposting can be a great way to ensure people are acknowledged and know they will find out where they can get further information. Answering one question can also lead to lots of further questions which will make it difficult to get through your Session on time!

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Important changes to the Information Session resources

Aimee Packwood, Regional Support Officer for the South West, talks us through the recent changes to the Information Session resources.

Hi,

As you know we are constantly reviewing the Dementia Friends Information Session to make sure the messages are as clear as possible, and that it is easy to deliver for you.

We’ve had some feedback from Champions about things we can do to achieve this, so have made a few small changes to help you when delivering your Information Sessions.

New versions of the activities, or the full handbook, can be downloaded from your Champions dashboard, so log on and take a look!

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Combining the community spirit of Girlguides & Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends Champion Fiona Joines saw the parallels between the aims of Dementia Friends and Girlguiding and set about getting her guiding colleagues on board with the initiative.

‘I have been aware of dementia for some time and was particularly fascinated and saddened by Terry Pratchett’s journey that he so eloquently shared with the world via his documentaries ‘Choosing to Die’ and ‘Living with Alzheimer’s’; both of these gave me a little insight and inspired me to do something. We are all likely to be impacted by Dementia in our life and so, I feel we have a responsibility to learn a little about it. That’s where Dementia Friends came in. It made sense to me that people needed to be able to talk about dementia and to feel comfortable doing so and I knew with the facilitator skills I have, I could help people to do this.

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‘The unexpected outcome of working on dementia with my Scouts’

Carole Dudley, Scout leader of the Blacklands Scouts, Malling District, tells us how getting her Scout group involved with the A Million Hands project and focussing on dementia had a real impact on her own life and career:

‘As a Scout leader with the Blacklands Scouts in East Malling, I was really excited to get my group started with the A Million Hands partnership. So we took our group camping at Morfa Bay in Wales and showed the Scouts videos for each of the different issues they could choose to focus on. After some discussion, they settled on dementia as their chosen issue.

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Ask your DFO – Do participants get a badge if they don’t complete an action card?

Aimee PackwoodEach month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answer one of your Dementia Friends Champions questions. Aimee Packwood, DFO for the South West, answers this month’s question: Dementia Friends 

At my Information Session, a participant didn’t want to fill in the action card. Can I still give them their Dementia Friend badge without an action card?

As you are aware (hopefully from bingo point 12), Dementia Friends is about turning understanding into action hence, it is really important that everyone who wears a Dementia Friends badge has committed to an action, to make their community more dementia-friendly.

However, filling in the action cards is voluntary.

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Top Tips: Making Dementia Friends Information Sessions more inclusive

There are lots of great actions you can take to make your Sessions as inclusive as possible, no matter the audience. Aimee Packwood, Regional Support Officer for the South West, has put together ten top ideas: Making Dementia Friends Information Sessions more inclusive – Dementia Friends Blog

Top tips for making Dementia Friends Information Sessions more inclusive

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