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Esther Martin

Esther Martin is a social enterprise that provides a service selling affordable clothing to senior ladies and gentlemen who may be experiencing various limitations as a result of old age. With our mobile shop, we can visit nursing/residential homes, sheltered accommodation, day centres, lunch clubs, and pensioner groups selling through our unique clothes party format where we donate cakes/ biscuits, tea/coffee is served, music played, and customers are invited to browse the shop at leisure with no pressure to purchase. Alternatively we can visit customers on a one-to-one basis in private housing through arranged appointment. This is ideal if an individual has more specific clothing requirements, e.g. If someone wishes to buy an outfit for a special occasion or has a particular shopping list of items.

21 October 2015
North West
Voluntary Sector, Retail
Local Alliances:
Salford Dementia Action Alliance , Bury Dementia Action Alliance, Oldham Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Esther Martin seeks to achieve better outcomes for those living with dementia and their carers by offering the following: • Encouraging people to maintain personal choice, control and influence over what they wish to wear, helping them to preserve independence, identity and confidence. • Provide a tailored service achieved through feedback from customers that enables us to create an enjoyable shopping experience and meet the shopping needs of those in the early stages of dementia, addressing all areas of the business from product, to layout, to signage, etc. • Encouraging social interaction and companionship via a fun and stimulating activity. • Providing security and reassurance as customers are able to shop and try garments in the comfort and privacy of familiar surroundings. • Allow for more quality time spent with carers/loved ones eliminating any anxiety, frustration and discomfort in navigating the High Street.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

• Where visiting venues with the mobile shop, we may encounter difficulty creating ‘dementia friendly’ physical environments based on space restrictions. • Currently staff experience of interacting with people suffering from dementia in a retail environment is somewhat limited – training is most certainly required in order to improve on our service, especially when interacting with customers visiting the shop without their carer/family member present. • Convincing carers/family members that we are genuine and sincere in our commitment to helping those suffering from dementia, i.e. that whilst we trade as a retailer our business objectives have a social focus as opposed to being purely commercial.

Member contacts


Member website


2. Actions

  • Create a Dementia Friendly Environment

    • Work with Managers, staff and carers to ensure we make the most of the space available at venues in a way that helps our customers to have an enjoyable shopping experience - ONGOING.

    • Gain feedback from Customers, Managers, carers and relatives about layout and whether there might be a better format that will help customers navigate the shop more comfortably without causing any unnecessary stress - ONGOING.

    • Ensure seating is available close to ‘the shop’ so that customers are able to take time out should they feel the need to - ONGOING

    • Ensure signage is limited so that customer is not over faced with notices. Make all messages clear, bold, easy to read and understand as well making sure they are all clearly visible at eye level - ONGOING

    • Ensure we use large labels for price tags so that the label can be easily found on the garment and that the price is clearly visible - ONGOING

    • Ensure receipts are given at all times and that all items purchased, as well as costs are clearly listed - ONGOING

    • Where customers wish to try garments at an event, ensure they are able to do so in privacy, and where possible with a carer/relative available to assist them - ONGOING

    • Upon completion, work in accordance to the Retail Charter, to further ensure we are meeting the needs of all our customers living with dementia - IN PROGRESS.

  • Improve Dementia Awareness amongst Staff

    • Ensure new staff/volunteers receive training that will provide them with an awareness of dementia – what this means for the individual living with the condition, their families and carers and implement a safeguarding policy as a course of best practise - ONGOING 

    • Work with other organisations/charities to create awareness of dementia - ONGOING

  • Establish the business as a committed service provider to those living with dementia

    • Continue to talk with customers living with dementia, their families and carers to ensure we are constantly addressing their needs, asking questions, and taking on board feedback to ensure their needs are always a priority - ONGOING

    • Promote credibility to customers, managers, carers and relatives through dementia logo accreditation - ONGOING

    • Promote accessibility through displaying a poster reassuring customers living with dementia that they are able to present help cards should they feel the need to - ONGOING

    • Continue to reflect, learn and address on all aspects of the LDAA Action Plan - ONGOING

    • Upon completion, work in accordance to the Retail Charter, to further ensure we are meeting the needs of all our customers living with dementia - IN PROGRESS.