Tavistock Dementia Action Alliance
Registered as a Dementia Friendly Community
In June 2012 members of the Rotary Club of Tavistock decided to create a project group with the aim of meeting the Prime Minister’s challenge of creating a dementia-friendly community in the Town. The Club has a long history of working on dementia issues through the national organisation REPOD (Rotarians Easing Problems of Dementia) and had helped establish the Tavistock Memory Café.
By September 2012 the group had recruited a wide range of stakeholders, supporters and experts in the field. From emergency services, to businesses; from GP’s to Consultants; all volunteers committed to working towards making Tavistock a dementia-friendly Town.
The group gained the encouragement of Angela Rippon, national Co- chair of the Dementia-Friendly Communities Champion Group to act as Patron to the Tavistock Alliance which was formally launched in December 2012 at a Dementia Awareness Day in the Town Hall.
The Alliance is currently analysing and identifying the training, briefing, advice and policy needs of all those organisations in the Town who have pledged their support to the project.
The Tavistock Dementia Action Alliance aims to make a significant difference by:
- Increasing awareness and understanding of dementia
- Supporting the development of a role for people with dementia
- Establishing ‘community support’ including High Street shop schemes
- Breaking down barriers and helping remove stigmatisation.
We will do this by:
- Identifying local needs of people with dementia and their carers
- Developing greater awareness and understanding of dementia issues in our community
- Establishing networks and links with businesses, service providers and people with dementia
- Providing training and briefing to shops, businesses and their staff
- Providing accessible information – in guides and packages.
Structure and Meetings
The structure and constitution of the Alliance is still evolving but it is mooted that a Steering Group oversees three sub-groups of Training/briefing; Liaison/networks; and Dementia needs. The Chairman of the Alliance is Tony Parker who facilitates quarterly ‘steering group’ and ‘open meetings’ where everyone in the Town is invited.
TAVISTOCK BID: (Business Improvement District) With over 300 networked local business members BID is acting as conduit for information on the Alliance including a significant presence for the Alliance on their web-site. BID is also acting as an effective lobbyist and campaigner with other organisations on town centre issues and ways to improve the business environment.
TASS: Tavistock Area Support Services - TASS offers activities in Tavistock and drop in centre's in local outlying areas. It includes the Memory Cafe. It has established important networks to support those in need and is now also acting as an advocate on the part of the Alliance in promoting Tavistock as a dementia-friendly Town.
TACT: Tavistock Area Christians Together - a network of churches and fellowships in the Tavistock area who are working with the Alliance in places of worship to make them more dementia-friendly. This was highlighted as a specific local need in a survey conducted through the Memory Café.
Tavistock College: the local college has been selected as a pioneer school piloting education and training in dementia. As Angela Rippon, Patron of the Tavistock Alliance has said “It is only through educating the next and future generations that the current stigma associated with dementia can be eradicated.”
Devon County Council Management plan: papers from the Alliance have been submitted to guide and influence policy makers on many issues including, street furniture signs, footpaths. A County and Borough Councillor sits on the Alliance steering group
Rotary – District: Through REPOD and work with the South West Rotary District other Rotary Clubs are being encouraged to ‘take up the baton’ and act as catalysts to creating dementia-friendly communities. Presentations have been made to numerous Clubs and collaborative arrangements established to facilitate this project.
Tony Parker (Chair): Anthonyfparker1@btinternet.com
Geri Parlby (Vice Chair): Geri.Parlby@dsl.pipex.com