Thanks to the work of the town’s Dementia Action Alliance, Bradford on Avon has been recognised as ‘Working To Become a Dementia Friendly Town’ by Alzheimer’s Society.
Dementia Action Alliance
The Bradford on Avon Dementia Action Alliance (BoA DAA) was launched in 2016 with the aim of making it easier for people living with dementia to continue to take part in their community. When the group formed, its aim was to establish a network of local Dementia Friends Champion so it could run a programme of Dementia Friends awareness sessions, thereby encouraging organisations to deliver dementia-friendly services and set up and maintain a Directory of Community Services.
The BoA DAA seeks to inform the public about dementia and to increase understanding among those who deal with the public, such as retail and restaurant staff.
Jennie Parker, Chair of Bradford on Avon Dementia Action Alliance, said: “Having dementia shouldn’t mean an isolated life. Simple actions from all of us can create supportive communities, where people living with the condition can continue to socialise with others, go to their favourite shops or take part in activities for as long as possible.”
Activities (organised and run by various groups) held before the Covid 19 lockdown will be re-instated as soon as possible, these include:
Arts, Culture, Leisure and Recreation
- A regular dementia friendly movie matinee held at St. Margaret’s Hall, sponsored by Wiltshire Heights Care Home.
- Music for the Mind sessions held weekly at the Wiltshire Music Centre
- Arts Together on a weekly basis for seniors at Aldhelm Court in Bradford on Avon. In Holt, there is an Arts Group for people living with dementia and their carers.
- A Men’s Shed group has been set up with the support of the Council, led by Jennie Parker.
- A ‘Walking for the Mind’ group meets weekly.
- ‘Animals and the Outdoors’ meets weekly in Holt.
Businesses and Shops
- To make shops and other businesses dementia aware, the BoA DAA has run several Dementia Friends sessions specifically aimed at businesses, including for business network groups.
- Several pubs support people living with dementia. For example, The Swan has provided premises for Dementia Friends sessions. The Dog and Fox Inn hosts a monthly dementia café, with a local supermarket providing the necessary funding for the dementia café for one year.
- The BoA DAA has organised a Party in the Park to share information on dementia and provide an opportunity for local businesses to run stalls and promote their services to people living with dementia.
Children, Young People and Students
- Children from a local nursery regularly visit a local care home (Wiltshire Heights) to sing and dance with the residents. They have also attended the Memory Café
- An intergenerational project has been launched among local primary schools whereby older children visit care homes and chat with the residents.
- The BoA DAA Party in the Park is a family day with entertainment for children as well as information for people with dementia, where the generations can mingle and have fun together.
- The group have held Dementia Friends sessions with the Girl Guides and the local primary schools.
- The group has also run dementia awareness sessions during assemblies for the local secondary school.
Community, Voluntary, Faith Groups and Organizations
- Holy Trinity Church holds a Trinity Cafe once a month which provides entertainment and activities together with tea, coffee and home-made cakes and sandwiches. This is also an opportunity to meet with Alzheimer’s Support and health centre staff.
- A “Forget Me Not Service” was held at the Holy Trinity Church during Dementia Awareness Week in 2019.
- Dementia Friends sessions have been run in various churches and with community groups, including for Link volunteers who drive people to doctor and hospital appointments.
- A Dementia Friends session was held at the local Women’s Institute
- A Carers Cafe has been set up to support carers.
- Bradford on Avon Town Council and the Area Board provided funding for both the Party in the Park and the Men’s Shed.
Fire and Police
- The Dementia Action Alliance works together with the police on the Keeping People Safe project aimed at all vulnerable people in Bradford on Avon.
- Additionally, the group is working with the Fire Service on their Keep Safe in the Home Service so people living with dementia are prioritised.
- The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, which supports elderly people, attended the Party in the Park and the Police Cadets, who are now dementia friendly, ran a stall. The Fire Service also had an information and advice stall.
Health and Social Care
- An information board has been set up in the Surgery Reception area in the Bradford on Avon Health Centre which signposts patients to the Older Persons Team and the services they provide, including information on Alzheimer’s Support.
- The Dementia Adviser from Alzheimer’s Support works closely with the Older Persons Team at the Health Centre.
- The Bradford on Avon Health Centre has also been running a memory cafe for people living with dementia in the Dog and Fox Inn for several years.
- The Dementia Adviser is present at Memory Cafés to provide support and information.
- Good links have been established with Adult Social Care at Wiltshire Council who help fund the Dementia Advisers at Alzheimer’s Support.
- The group has also held Dementia Friends sessions with care agencies.
More information can be found on the BoA DAA website, www.dementiafriendlyboa.org