Devizes Community Area Dementia Action Alliance

Achievements

Between August 2015 and August 2017 we have made 816 new Dementia Friends.

Background

The Devizes Community Area includes the parishes of All Cannings, Bishops Cannings, Bromham, Cheverell Magna, Cheverell Parva, Devizes, Easterton, Erlestoke, Etchilhampton, Market Lavington, Marston, Potterne, Roundway, Rowde, Stert, Urchfont, West Lavington and Worton. The area population is approximately 35,000 people.

Rural villages surround the market town of Devizes, which is an important centre for people who live in the community area to access a wide range of services including health, education, leisure, shops and employment.

The community has a vibrant energy which becomes particularly evident at the local events, festivals and fairs that take place throughout the year and across the community area.

History

In 2014 the Devizes Community Area Board invited the community to a Health Fair at which they learnt first aid skills, were given the opportunity to have health checks, took part in a Dementia Friends session and discussed health and well-being facts and findings contained in the local Joint Strategic Assessment (JSA).

Since then our local Dementia Friends champions have run awareness raising sessions for various groups resulting in over 800 people becoming Dementia Friends.
In 2016 it was decided that the Devizes Community Area would establish a Wellbeing Group which would oversee the work being done on the Dementia Friends as well as other local projects. This group is now up and running and operates as a sub-group of the Devizes Area Board. Among the groups aims are to raise awareness of dementia within the community and to encourage businesses and organisations to become dementia friendly themselves.
The group has been encouraged and supported by Wiltshire Council and Devizes Town Council and has grown to include a wide range of local people, including carers and people living with dementia, and partner agencies and organisations. They meet regularly and continue to develop their aims, actions and links to the wider community.

Aims

The overarching aim of the Devizes Community Area Dementia Action Alliance (DCA DAA) is to make sure that everyone from the Devizes Community Area 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 do this the group will work in partnership across the community to develop practical actions to support those living with dementia and those who care for them.

The DCA DAA has been working hard over the last year to reach out to a huge range of local organisations and groups who may come into contact with someone living with dementia; the library, leisure centre, churches, Lions Club and Rotarians, GP surgeries, police and Fire & Rescue, clubs and groups, schools and youth groups.
In order to facilitate a large and growing list of dementia friend sessions and other dementia friendly actions, the group aims to develop a network of local community champions who will support each other.
The group will actively try to raise awareness and spread the word that life doesn’t have to end when dementia begins, and encourage the community to help those people living with dementia in our area to remain socially active and enjoy the things they love doing for longer. 

Meetings:

Working group meetings are held regularly and bring together representatives of:

  • Wiltshire Council 
  • Devizes Town Council 
  • Devizes Rotary Club 
  • Alzheimer’s Support 
  • Local people, including carers

Full steering group meetings are held every 3 months. 

How to join

The Devizes Community Area 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 either Michael Challinor michaelchallinor@btinternet.com or Graeme Morrison  Graeme.Morrison@wiltshire.gov.uk