Forest of Dean District

Geography:

The Forest of Dean District is one of the seven in Gloucestershire County. Not quite the smallest but it is on the edge- of the County and of the Country.  The population is about 83,700 people with about 34167 households (households with at least one usual resident). Projections suggest that our population will grow to 86,800 by 2025 and 89,900 by 2037.  The area is classified as rural with no one town dominating.  Newent is in the North area and is closest to a major centre, Gloucester.  The other three towns are Lydney, in the south, with Cinderford and Coleford in the centre.  The industrial heritage and natural landscape is something which people living in the area feel connected to.   Locally the Forest of Dean District is known as the land between two rivers (the River Severn and the River Wye).  Transport issues have repeatedly been identified as an issue which the Forest of Dean Community Transport Project is working proactively to understand and enable.

Background:

In 2008 the then Local Strategic Partnership (multiagency partnership) did considerable consultation across the district within which carers' issues were identified such as the need for them to have a voice, greater recognition needed of who a carer is.  In response to this local partners came together informally as the Forest of Dean Carers Partnership – examples of their work are –  a roadshow which increased Carers Glos database by 40%, annual Carers Rights Day events which are now quarterly forums, and across the county facilitated by Carers Glos but still supported by local partners.

In 2013 partners decided to set up a task group to work proactively on Dementia awareness.  Information & Education was recognised as key ingredient but partners wanted to make it fun – the end result was our Dementia Friends board game. Over the past fifteen months over 1852 people have become dementia friends.  At the same time a number of partners have been trained by the Gloucestershire Dementia Education Pathway Team 

http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/extra/dementiatraining

the people have skills at a variety of levels but all supported by quality assurances with national and local support networks and resources.  This group forms the baseline for our formal Dementia Action Alliance with a proven track record of activities over the past two years.

Aims:

The overarching aim of the Forest of Dean District Dementia Action Alliance (FODD DAA) is to make sure that everyone in the district living with dementia is respected and enabled to continue to enjoy living their lives in their own community as well as possible for as long as possible.

To support the wider community to understand dementia and inspire and enable people to do things which contribute to a dementia friendly community, which are generally more welcoming communities.

One of our aims is to develop a network of local community champions who will support each other and the wider community. 

We will work in partnership with other areas such as Tetbury town and Cotswold District who have been working on their own Dementia Friendly project for some time. As well as Stroud District and Gloucester who are embarking on similar projects. 

Meetings:  

Steering group meetings will be held quarterly.  Task and finish groups will be set up as/when appropriate.  

Members:

  • Forest of Dean Council
  • Gloucestershire County Council
  • 2gether Trust
  • NHS Gloucestershire
  • NHS Gloucestershire Care Services
  • Crossroads Care Forest of Dean & Hereford
  • Newent Association for the Disabled
  • Artspace
  • Carers Gloucestershire
  • Great Oaks
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • 2 Rivers Housing
  • Gloucestershire Rural Community Council
  • Greensquare
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Orchard Trust
  • Police
  • Fire
  • Forest of Dean Faith Group Leaders
  • Local people, including carers and people living with dementia

Action Plan

It has five strands and is reviewed quarterly:

  • Place: Working proactively to make community buildings and places more accessible
  • People: Giving people information and raising awareness of dementia
  • People with Dementia: Involve people living with dementia and their families as much as possible, in a way that is important to them.
  • Networks: Enabling people  forums where people can come together to network, share best practice and be supported
  • Resources: create and share them

How to join:

The Forest of Dean District DAA welcomes support from across the community. If you are interested in coming along to a meeting, or being involved in any way please email Lena Maller on 01594 812609 or lena.maller@fdean.gov.uk