Pewsey Community Area Dementia Action Alliance

About the Pewsey Community Area

Pewsey Community Area covers 268km of rural countryside in the middle of Wiltshire known as the Pewsey Vale. It is dominated by one settlement, the ancient village of Pewsey. The community area covers a broad and rich valley between the Marlborough Downs to the north and Salisbury Plan to the south and extends to Wiltshire’s eastern boundary.

The surrounding area is one of small villages and large farm estates and is very rural in nature. There are 26 parishes across the community area and no towns, although the major village of Pewsey serves the function of a small town and acts as the main local service centre. Pewsey is a popular commuter village with easy access to London, thanks to the rail station and good access to the M4.

Pewsey Vale has a beautiful natural environment with a strong community spirit and plenty of local involvement. This is particularly evident at the local events, festivals and fairs that take place throughout the year where local people are positively engaged in a range of community activities.

A new health and well being centre will open in 2018 incorporating leisure facilities and flexible spaces. The facility will provide a welcoming and inclusive environment where all members of the community area can come together, access services, enjoy informal learning opportunities, overcome social isolation and develop opportunities for local solutions to local issues through community action.

The background to Dementia friendly Pewsey

  • Pewsey Area Board (local arm of Wiltshire Council) pledged to make Pewsey a dementia friendly community in May 2014 following the launch of the Wiltshire Dementia Strategy consultation.
  • A Wiltshire Council campaign to raise awareness of dementia called ‘Before I forget’ launched at Pewsey Library in June 2014
  • Local Dementia Friends sessions have been held at the library for volunteers and the fire station for staff.
  • Pewsey Area Board has awarded funding to support local groups such as Pewsey Art Group
  • Pewsey Vale Dementia Awareness Group (PVDAG) formed in July 2014 to:
  1. provide communication, challenge stigma and build awareness around dementia
  2. build a hub of dementia friends and champions; and
  3. facilitate services that encourage social engagement and give support for people with dementia.
  • PVDAG launched a Facebook and poster campaign to raise awareness of dementia across the area, promoted local groups and activities, provided an information and resources stand at Pewsey Library and produced a quarterly newsletter of information.
  • PVDAG launched Pewsey Memory Café July 2015 offering people with dementia and their carers a welcoming space in which to socialise, share stories and exchange information. The café regularly has over 20 people attending each month
  • Safe Places launched in 2016 with 12 places signed up
  • The Partnership for Older People in Pewsey (POPP) launched in Spring 2016 bringing together voluntary and community organisations, service providers, parish councils and volunteers to target social isolation and improve wellbeing across the community area.
  • Pewsey DAA steering group formed in December 2016
  • The Pewsey Our Community Matters conference was held in Jan 2017 where dementia was identified as a top priority.
  • There are 6 champions and 470 Dementia Friends in SN9 and SN10  (Pewsey and Marlborough community areas)

According to the Wiltshire Dementia Strategy 2014 - 2021, there are approximately 190 people diagnosed with dementia living in the Pewsey community area.

The following services and groups exist for people with dementia and their carers.

  • Pewsey memory café
  • East Wilts Alzheimers Café
  • Singing for the Brian,  Lockeridge
  • Pewsey Art Group
  • Pewsey Arts Together

Aims

The overarching aim of the Pewsey Community Area Dementia Action Alliance (PCA DAA) is to make sure that everyone from the Pewsey Community Area living with dementia (both people with a diagnosis and their carers) is respected and enabled to continue to participate in their own community as well as possible for as long as possible.

To do this the Pewsey Community Area DAA will work in partnership across the community to develop practical actions to support those living with dementia and those who care for them. Organisations can undertake actions that are aimed specifically for people living with dementia and their carers or they can commit to making their services and activities generally more dementia friendly so that people living with dementia continue to feel able to participate.

The Pewsey Community Area DAA has identified a number of specific areas of work to make Pewsey more dementia friendly –

  • Raise awareness of dementia and how it affects individuals and their families and carers, and encouraging existing organisations, businesses and services to be more dementia friendly.
  • Identify opportunities to support the growth of community groups and to promote local activities
  • Promote the existing Safe Places scheme
  • Improve health pathways and the post diagnosis experience

Raising awareness

The initial aim of the Pewsey Community Area DAA is to encourage as many people, businesses, organisations and services in the community as possible to become dementia aware and dementia friendly through attending a Dementia Friends Information Session. This is supported by a group of Dementia Friends Champions who will work closely with the steering group to organise and run Dementia Friends sessions in the area and encourage sign ups to the DAA.

Community groups

The steering group will work with Alzheimer’s Support and Pewsey DAA members to support the creation of new community services and maximise the number of local activities available for people with dementia and their carers. The steering group will ensure that local activity information is easily accessible, consistent and accurate.

Safe Places scheme

Pewsey already has a Safe Places scheme, with 12 local organisations signed up. Further work is needed to ensure the scheme is running successfully and to make local people aware of its existence.

Improving health pathways

The steering group will highlight the importance and key benefits of an early diagnosis to health care practitioners and the general public, raising public awareness of the diagnosis procedure and available support to overcome the reticence of seeking help.

Working in partnership with local surgeries and support organisations the steering group will look at the existing diagnosis procedure for dementia and consider how to ensure that a support plan and regular review can improve the post diagnosis experience for the patient and a partner/ carer

The Pewsey Community Area DAA aims to bring together the good will and networks of its members to address these aims.

DAA steering group membership

The Pewsey DAA core steering group is made up of key community members representing:

  • Pewsey Vale Dementia Awareness Group
  • Pewsey Community Area Partnership
  • Pewsey Partnership for Older People (POPP)
  • Pewsey Team of Churches
  • Local surgeries
  • Pewsey Area Board
  • Wiltshire Council
  • Alzheimer’s Support

How to join

The Pewsey Community Area DAA welcomes support from across the community.  Businesses, clubs, schools, charities and other organisations can become members of the Pewsey Dementia Action Alliance.  If you are interested in joining, coming along to a meeting, having a Dementia Friends session or being involved in any way please contact either Ros Griffiths Ros.Griffiths@wiltshire.gov.uk 01225 718372 or Nell Light nell.light@homeinstead.co.uk 01672 556300