Category Archives: Session Resources / Tips

What’s it like to deliver your first Information Session?

Natalie Hicks recently became a Dementia Friends Champion and, after initially feeling nervous, is now confidently planning and delivering Information Sessions in her community. Here Natalie tells us what it was like to deliver her first Session:

Travelling from York to Bradford for the DF champion training I didn’t know what to expect.. But it didn’t disappoint!

Since returning home I have practiced on whoever would listen…

Then, once I had realised my puppies knew the script better than me, I decided to take the next step. I booked my venue and started advertising. I spoke with local businesses, put up numerous posters and advertised on the local community websites and social media pages.

As time went on and it became more real, I became more nervous and the doubts in my ability to do public speaking went through the roof. I thought about cancelling, postponing, emigrating… But I was spurred on by family, friends and kind comments from fellow Dementia Friends Champions

January 2017

The day arrived… Laminated games, badges and action cards in hand, I made my way to my destination.

A close friend had been roped in to help me set up, carry leaflets/brochures and be a familiar face in the crowd.

Then one by one people started to arrive.. 7 in total. From the local community, other areas of York and 2 from further a field! All with a different story; losing a loved one, volunteering in the local community, wanting to help work towards making their business dementia-friendly!

After the introduction I started forgetting I was stood in front of strangers,worrying I was rushing, forgetting my words or trying to control the nervous shaking.. And began to ENJOY!

The session went really well and whilst giving them ideas of ways they could volunteer and suggesting becoming a Dementia Friends Champion – I let slip it was my first Session and everyone in front of me looked truly shocked! And I can genuinely say at that moment I felt so proud of myself for working through my fears.

I have since been asked to carry out two more sessions; the local community committee all want to become dementia friends and a local community cafe have booked a session in the coming months!

I am now filled with a new found confidence and I have pledged to continue to help people living with dementia in my community. I am now working with the local community group to help them work towards becoming dementia friendly, pledging to assist with setting up a memory cafe in the local area and introducing side by side.

I really hope my experience is helpful to you all and I hope we can all continue to share ideas/experiences!

I do believe we can do great things to promote and create dementia friendly communities!

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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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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Important changes to the Information Session

Aimee Packwood, Regional Support Officer for the South West, talks through the changes that have been made recently to the Information Session resources:

Hi Champions!

As you know we regularly review the content of our Information Session, based on feedback from Champions and people affected by dementia, and our latest research, to make sure we are giving out clear and up to date messages. With this in mind, we’ve made a few small changes for you to be aware of when you next run your Information Session:

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Working with an interpreter to run BAME sessions

For some Champions, language is not a barrier when it comes to running Sessions. Catherine Lewis-Dobson recently ran two Sessions at the request of the Hyde Community Action, for Bengali speaking women. Given that she does not know Bengali, and the attendees spoke little English, she used the services of a Community Worker who had attended one of her English Sessions to be an interpreter. Cathy tells us more about how the it worked and gives some tips for other Champions:

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Dementia Friends Champions: Important Session Resource Update

Important information for Dementia Friends Champions:

To ensure the Dementia Friends initiative is giving out the most relevant and useful information, we are constantly looking to develop and improve our programme, by sharing best practice and responding to feedback given by people living with dementia and you, our Champions.

With this in mind, we have updated one of the Bingo/Broken Sentences statements to give practical tips about how best to communicate with people who are living with dementia. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the changes.

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Great ideas for delivering Info Sessions outdoors

Summer is here, the sun is shining (and we all know that that’s a rare occurrence) so let’s make the most of it and deliver our Dementia Friends Information Sessions outside. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Festivals/fairs

England’s love of festivals continues to grow.  With large crowds, this could be a perfect opportunity to spread understanding of dementia further.

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Champion’s advice: How to get local businesses engaged with Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends Champion Rosemary Farr has had some brilliant success in approaching local organisations and getting them engaged with Dementia Friends. Here she talks about her experience and gives some invaluable advice for other Champions out there who are looking to connect with local businesses.

“After training as a Dementia Friends Champion, I was keen to start organizing some Information Sessions and thought that local community organizations would be a good place to start. However a number of email enquiries went unanswered and I asked my Regional Support Officer (RSO) for help. I was put in touch with some other Champions in my area and began to get some feedback and more ideas. Through one connection I discovered that there was a county-wide dementia awareness programme including a Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), and also that a branch of the charity Mind were working with the County Council to help make the area more dementia-friendly. These were key discoveries and contacting Mind and the DAA enabled me to be part of a much bigger picture and to deliver Dementia Friends Sessions in places that I had never imagined.”

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