Aster Group

Aster is an ethical social enterprise committed to making a positive difference to people’s lives. We provide affordable houses to buy or rent, care for the vulnerable or elderly and maintain and repair homes. We’re passionate and proud to serve over 75,000 customers across central southern and south west England. Customers are at the heart of everything we do and we’re always looking to transform the way we work to offer better services, extra value for money and more customer involvement.

Updated:
1 April 2014
Location:
South West
Sectors:
Care, Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
Hampshire 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?

As a provider of homes and housing related, care and support services to people who may or may not live in our homes, the work of Aster is very much embedded in the lives of people and communities. We are well placed and recognise our responsibility, declaring our mission to improve the lives of all those in the communities we serve.

We do not work in isolation; partnership working is an integral part of our business. We work with our customers and external organisations to design, deliver and shape attitudes, approaches and services that can best meet the variety of needs of people. We are passionate about improving all lives and this includes the lives of people affected by dementia.  By working together with others sharing best practise and working to a common aim we acknowledge we can achieve so much more. In terms of our approach to dementia specifically we are striving to make Aster synonymous with excellence in care; and keen to champion the cause of those living with dementia and their carers.

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

Internally Aster consists of a diverse group of companies working towards a common aim with all departments and divisions having differing operational priorities. We are working hard across the business to deliver value for money in challenging economic times. Encouraging overall commitment and ensuring the time and resource is allocated, when time and budgets are tight will be the main challenge. However, organisationally we are driving hard for innovation, and sharpening our business practices and processes; this is in response to a wider challenge presented by the operating environment.

In our own and the wider communities overcoming discrimination is another challenge.  Lack of tolerance and prejudice exists in any society, usually through fear and lack of understanding. This can be compounded where other pressures such as austerity and hardship exist also.

Member website

www.aster.co.uk

2. Actions

  • Continuous improvement of dementia training to deliver excellence in care

    Development and delivery of high quality training programmes to our care, support and frontline staff through our own in house training academy. Working in partnership with other organisations to share best practice and ensure training is current.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2013 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member

  • Create and implement a Dementia Strategy across the group

    To formalise our approach to dementia across the whole business.

    Status:
    Initial Scoping
  • Create Dementia Champions

    We plan to create “champions” within the organisation with specialist knowledge and passion for raising the profile and communication, both internally and externally.

    Status:
    Planning
  • Consideration and innovation in the “living /built environment”

    We will respond to the needs of people living with dementia through continuous improvement, innovation in design, adaptation and build of extra care schemes and also our care and repair and handypersons services.

    Status:
    Delivery, Case study
  • Mindful recruitment of staff in Care and Support

    We ensure our selection processes is  fit for purpse, to recruit only the personnel with the personal qualities and behaviours most suited to delivering truly person centred care. Empathy, listening, motivation, kindness and understanding, rather than skill sets that can be taught.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Excellence in dementia care

    We are striving to be regarded as a provider with the best dementia care, executed through development and delivery of leading edge services and practices.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Building inclusive communities

    Creating community cohesion and spirit, through community involvement, investment and development activities. We take action on anti-social behaviour and encourage tenant responsibility via neighbourhood and tenancy support. We have a Tenants Charters in communal schemes to actively encourage responsibility and ownership of community; tolerance and inclusion. We also work in schools on a variety of  projects.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Building inclusive communities

    Creating community cohesion and spirit, through community involvement, investment and development activities. We take action on anti-social behaviour and encourage tenant responsibility via neighbourhood and tenancy support. We have a Tenants Charters in communal schemes to actively encourage responsibility and ownership of community; tolerance and inclusion. We also work in schools on a variety of  projects.

    Status:
    Being implemented