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Southbourne Dementia Friendly Community


registered as a Dementia Friendly Community


In March 2012 the Prime Minister raised the profile of dementia by setting his Dementia Challenge, which was to deliver major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015. In that challenge there was a commitment to the development of Dementia Friendly Communities across the UK.

Dorset partners have responded to this challenge and secured funding to appoint Dementia Action Alliance Co-ordinators through the Alzheimer’s Society, who will be working in specific areas to help the communities of Dorset become dementia-friendly. 

Southbourne has been chosen to be at the forefront of this exciting and innovative development to help improve the experiences of people living with dementia and their carers in the local community.  As a most diverse borough of Bournemouth, it will pilot a number of activities aimed at making Southbourne a dementia-friendly community. Experiences will be shared across Bournemouth to create a Dementia Friendly town.

Southbourne is a delightful and vibrant community popular with residents and visitors alike, welcoming a high number of tourists in the holiday periods.  It retains a ‘village’ feel and boasts unique independent shops, cafes, leisure facilities and features a beautiful natural environment including coastline, nature reserves and gardens.  The borough offers the opportunity for good customer services, care and quality of life for local people living with dementia, carers and those who visit.

The population of Southbourne is approaching 20,000 with a higher than average number of retired residents and the lowest proportion of working age individuals. There are also a higher than national average proportion of households with at least one householder with a long-term limiting illness.  Residents agreed with Bournemouth’s top five priorities including ‘making Bournemouth safer’ and ‘protecting those at risk from harm’.  

A Local Dementia Action Alliance is therefore being created by people who live and work in Southbourne with the aim of improving the experiences of local people living with memory problems. The Alliance will comprise of representatives from local businesses, civic organisations, health and social care providers, faith groups and rescue services.

Formation of a Local Alliance will help deliver the objectives of the National Dementia Declaration at a local level.

A number of consultation events were held in the autumn 2013 for those living with dementia, carers and local business and organisations to identify priorities in creating a dementia-friendly environment in Southbourne.


Raise awareness of dementia throughout Southbourne to ensure we are inclusive of people with dementia and carers to help improve their ability to remain independent and have choice and control over their lives.

Listen to those living with dementia and carers in Southbourne and surrounding areas and seek to improve the environment to help remove barriers and minimise difficulties faced.

Support and encourage businesses and organisations in Southbourne to learn what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action and deliver changes as part of their commitment to bring about change.

Create a Dementia Friendly Community in Southbourne so that people with dementia and those who care for them are encouraged to seek help and are supported by their community.

Share best practice with other communities in Bournemouth to encourage wider adoption of the Dementia Friendly Communities programme.

Southbourne Dementia-Friendly Community Support Group

A project support group representing the local community has formed to move the ‘Making Southbourne Dementia-Friendly’ initiative forward and help achieve the aims and objectives for the town.

The group will remain responsive and flexible and future activity and events will seek others to help support now and into the future.

The group meets on a bi-monthly basis or more frequently if required.

Projects being undertaken

  • Development and  delivery of awareness raising opportunities
  • Help to enhance activities for people living with Dementia and Carers through liaison with partners 
  • Shared learning, understanding and collaborations between members
  • Production of resources for retailers
  • Guidance for better planning and help improving facilities and environments
  • Dementia Friendly Tourism
  • Engagement of GP surgeries
  • Profile raising with local media
  • Dementia Friendly business directory and point of sale material
  • ‘Southbourne Dementia Friendly Community’ networking events including open afternoon on 20th May 2014 as part of Dementia Awareness Week

Achievements in Southbourne

  • Awareness raising opportunities delivered including Dementia Friends through local trained champions and dementia professionals www.dementiafriends.org.uk
  • New Dementia Friends and Champions created
  • Dementia friendly church services operating
  • Forget me not coffee mornings held every Tuesday morning
  • Memory Café at Sunrise Senior Living
  • Resources to help businesses become dementia-friendly including adoption of coin recognition chart and ‘How to help people with Dementia’ booklet
  • Creation of art therapy group for people with dementia and carers.


NDTi Circles of Support project

How to join and contact details

If you wish to join us in helping make Southbourne a Dementia Friendly Community and  improve the lives and experience of people living with Dementia and those who care for them, please pledge your support by completing and returning  your own action plan.


Sally Nevitt

Email  sally.nevitt@btinternet.com