Chasewater Light Railway and Museum Company

Set in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, Chaswewater Light Railway & Museum Company is home to a large selection of both steam and diesel locos. Its contribution to the National Dementia Declaration is centred around promoting a dementia friendly environment where people living with dementia and their carers can visit, being confident that they will have equality, understanding and be treated with respect.

Updated:
8 October 2015
Location:
West Midlands
Sectors:
Recreation, Transport Sector
Local Alliances:
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Chasewater Railway is a registered charity run by volunteer working members of all ages from 14yrs to 80+yrs.  It is a very popular tourist attraction in Staffordshire with a diverse visitor base of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.  We are located within Chasewater Country Park, just off the A5, giving easy access from all parts of the country, and operate heritage steam and diesel hauled trains.  Our contribution to the National Dementia Declaration would be centred around outcomes 5 and 6 in promoting a dementia friendly environment where people living with dementia and their carers can visit, being confident that they will have equality, understanding and be treated with respect. 

As the Heritage movement has a predominantly ageing ‘workforce’ we would also seek to support any working members/volunteers living with dementia to remain active and continue to be a valued and integral part of the team, just as we successfully support young members with learning and physical disabilities.  With the sight, sound and smell of steam locos we provide a truly nostalgic tactile experience.  Having hosted visits for the elderly, many of who are living with dementia we have witnessed the positive effect on people’s wellbeing this can have.  In turn the volunteers feel an appreciation of all their hard work and say it is such days that make it all worthwhile.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Breaking taboos and preconceived ideas that volunteers and or visitors may have with regard to people living with dementia.  Time constraints, as we are all volunteers many of who work full time, new initiatives can take a little longer to set up and roll out than in organisations with paid staff.  Supporting people with dementia to maintain their skills and also maintain their safety.  Responding appropriately and sensitively to changes in cognition of people with dementia, maintaining relationships through those changes and ensuring volunteers understand these changes promoting continuity of a person centred approach.  Recognising people may need support or advice but may not actually express that need. Reaching people living with dementia so that they are aware we are here and are members of the Alliance.

2. Actions

  • Raising awareness

    Raise awareness: Dedicated notice board, newsletter. Production of information leaflet promoting knowledge and understanding of dementia and how, as an organisation we are supporting the National Dementia Declaration and where we sit.

    Status:
    Implementation

    Update – First Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Second Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Third Quarter

    In progress 

  • Engage Volunteer Working Members

    Engage Volunteer Working Members: formal and informal discussions, workshops, Q’s & A’s, access to further information if required, inclusion in Member’s and Board meetings, use of Facebook and website. 

    Reflection and review: Identify areas that are working well, and if any additional actions are required, continue driving forward to achieve outcomes.

    Status:
    Implementation

    Update – First Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Second Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Third Quarter

    In progress 

  • Time Constraints

    Time Constraints: Set achievable timelines, involve interested members and share work load, promoting dementia champions, ensure admin support available wherever possible, develop partnerships.

    Status:
    Planning

    Update – First Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Second Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Third Quarter

    In progress 

  • Responding appropriately & sensitively

    Responding appropriately & sensitively to changes in cognition: By raising awareness and educating Working Members in how a person can be affected by the progression of dementia adjustments can be made accordingly, maintaining relationships and not losing sight of the person and who they are.

    Status:
    Implementation

    Update – First Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Second Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Third Quarter

    In progress

  • Supporting people with dementia to maintain skills

    Supporting people with dementia to maintain skills.   Facilitate projects and activities which can be accessed by people with dementia and their carers.  Build relationships to ensure understanding of needs of the person with dementia and that the carer can provide adequate supervision, and feels supported, ensuring safety can be maintained whilst recognising rights of people to take reasonable risks, as we all do.  Utilise café facilities as a means of meeting people, along with a warm welcome.

    Status:
    Implementation

    Update – First Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Second Quarter

    In progress

    Update – Third Quarter

    In progress