Chippenham and Rural Parishes Dementia Action Alliance

Achievements

Registered as a Dementia Friendly Community

Background:

Chippenham is a busy historic market town located in the M4 Corridor, served by good transport links including M4 and a mainline Railway Station between London and the West Country.

Nestled on the banks of the River Avon Chippenham offers an ideal centre for relaxation and exploration of rural Wiltshire. Chippenham enjoys a reputation as a flourishing and lively market town, with a compact centre and thriving commercial life, it has been granted Purple Flag Status for its nightlife. The main shopping areas are numerous including an enclosed Emery Gate Shopping Centre and various streets surrounding the High Street.

The Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre and the accredited Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre are located in the town. Chippenham’s colourful and street markets are held on Fridays and Saturdays in the High Street and off a variety of traditional and modern stalls.

Chippenham has a wealth of beautifully maintained parks, play areas and open spaces notably John Coles Park with its mature trees, flower beds and Victorian Bandstand and Monkton Park which sits on the banks of the River Avon.

 Archaeological finds indicate a Saxon date in the 7th Century for the first urban settlers of Chippenham. In 853 Ethelwitha, sister of King Alfred was married in Chippenham. The medieval timber framed Yelde Hall is situated in the Market Place and dates from between 1446 – 1458. In 1747 Chippenham was at the centre of a parliamentary scandal involving bribery and corruption of the two members for Chippenham, which led to an election petition that brought down the government led by Sir Robert Walpole. A canal spur of the Wilts and Berks Canal in 1798 advanced trade in the town, further aided by construction of the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol which reached the town in 1841 and was built by Brunel.

 Surrounding Chippenham are a number of stone-built villages and the film makers’ favourites of Lacock (National Trust), Biddestone and Castle Combe that have featured in such film and TV dramas such as; Harry Potter, Cranford, Pride & Prejudice, The Christmas Candle, The Wolfman, War Horse, Stardust, Larkrise to Candleford, Dr Dolittle and Poirot.

The combination of the ancient and the new, the historic architechtural gems, excellent communication links, beautifully maintained parks, modern shopping centres and with some of the country’s greatest houses and historic villages on the doorstep, makes Chippenham and idyllic location for living, working and visiting.

History:

 The Steering Group has been developing plans since May 2016 and has formed from work already started with getting the Town involved in Safe Places. Under the banner of Safer and Supportive Communities it aims to ensure the Dementia considerations required for being a Dementia Friendly Community are linked to initiatives such as the Purple Flag, Safe Places, Let’s Hear in Chippenham.                                              

 The work will include encouraging the many rural communities served by the Chippenham Area Board these include: Biddestone, Castle Combe, North Wraxall, Nettleton & Burton, Stanton St.Quintin, Yatton Keynell, Grittleton, Hullavington, Sutton Benger, Christian Malford, Kington Langley, Kington St.Michael, Seagry, Langley Burrell, Chippenham Without.

This will include supporting people with dementia to have confidence to know what they can contribute to the life of the community as well as maintaining their independence. In Chippenham we have four groups already supporting Singing for the Brain, Memory Café, Carer Support Group, Living Well with Dementia Group.

On our steering group we are involving people living with dementia virtually and have two Doctor's Surgeries involved.

Aims:

  • To continue to consult with people with dementia and their carers to find out how best to support them to be able to enjoy living in their town and village (Working towards a Dementia Friendly Community).
  • To continue to raise awareness by increasing the number of Dementia Friends in the community area and including children and young people.
  • To continue to develop initiatives that help prevent, care and make provision for people living with dementia and their carers in our communities.

Meetings:

The Steering Group will be the Chippenham Safer and Supportive Communities Group, whilst we are getting underway a small working group will help develop the initial actions of the DAA, both groups will meet consecutively 4 times a year. The Dementia Action Alliance will meet annual once or twice a year according to need.

How to Join:

The Chippenham Dementia Action Alliance group welcomes support from anyone who is interested in supporting the work of the group. If you would like to join or get involved please email either Victoria Welsh, Community Engagement Manager at Wiltshire Council at Victoria.welsh@wiltshire.gov.uk or Desna Allen, Chair <Desna.Allen@wiltshire.gov.uk>