Churches Together in Sprotborough

Started In 2000, the Sprotbrough Churches have agreed in a Covenant - to explore the Christian faith together - to worship, pray and reflect together - to respond together to the needs of society - to live and share the gospel together and with others

Updated:
9 April 2014
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Faith Groups
Local Alliances:
Doncaster Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber 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?

Christian Faith proclaims God the Creator’s inclusive love for all people and Jesus, in his earthly life showed a particular care and compassion for those on the margins of society. Christ himself modelled the importance of this in his own life on earth and has set the pattern which all Christians seek to follow. 

God does not value people according to their memory and intellectual skills but loves each one of us unconditionally.   All people, whether cognitively impaired or not, are God’s children and his treasured possessions.  It is, therefore, very important that people with dementia are affirmed and treated with dignity and compassion within His Church and Kingdom. The Church should value the contribution which all people bring to the life of their communities.

Parish churches are important within communities and can offer the following:

Helping to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of people with, and affected by, dementia in such ways as:

  • Listening and getting alongside people with dementia and those who care for them
  • Helping people to attend church services and activities and be supported when there
  • Offering Communion, prayer and spiritual fellowship at home or in residential care
  • Helping with practical tasks that can lighten the load
  • Ensuring people with dementia and their carers feel welcome at church and feel part of the church community

Parish churches are key links in local communities and have valuable resources:

  • Buildings that can be used for events and support groups
  • Networking and awareness raising potential
  • People with a range of skills and experiences to draw upon
  • Working with those of other Christian traditions and other faiths to support a cross section of people with dementia and their carers
  • Knowledge and relations with residential and nursing homes in their community
  • Links with local voluntary groups and businesses , facilitating and encouraging partnership working to provide wrap round services to local people

Challenging social justice issues e.g. access to health and door step crime.

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

Dementia continues to be surrounded by fears and stigmas which create significant barriers to awareness, communication and engagement with the issues

•              Dementia is regarded with fear, even dread, by many.

•              Some people are able to adapt and find fulfillment in caring and supporting, but others are left with very difficult feelings relating to fear, grief and inadequacy which are a barrier to engagement and can give rise to defensive or dismissive attitudes and a tendency to ‘fall away’ from those who need help. 

•              The stigma surrounding dementia also means that those who are affected, both the person and the carer, often feel embarrassed and ashamed and do not want to step forward to say they need help and support.  The process of encouraging people to come forward and get help, therefore, is also complex and needs to be handled with sensitivity and care.

•              There are realistic expectations on how much care and support people within congregations can provide; support of people with dementia, therefore, must compete with other needs within congregations and communities. 

Working with other voluntary groups can be difficult due to a gaps/duplication in services, competition for scarce resource, past experiences etc, the church can help facilitate communities working together for good and resolve conflict

2. Actions

  • Training

    CTS  intends to provide training options for church and community volunteers, from dementia friends awareness training, carers training to pastoral support. CTS will offer - Basic level of awareness- Dementia Friend, ( 18 trained so far)

    plus...

    Up to a full day of more in depth training- half a day pastoral training and half a day , more about dementia ( adapted from carers training)

    To encourage and promote ( and keep a register ) of dementia friends and those who have received pastoral training in this area, especially those who visit people in their own homes.

    To encourage dementia friends from faith groups to work together ecumenically to be involved in the local alliances and work towards dementia friendly communities

    To ensure pastoral visitors/volunteers for dementia related activities have appropriate DBS certificates shared with safeguarding lead in each parish

    Status:
    Implementation
  • Partnership working/ awareness

    CTS will work with other agencies and bodies in raising awareness in providing local, tailored practical and pastoral support that has people with dementia and their carers at the heart of what they do e.g. peer support/ memory cafes/awareness raising events/ services in care homes  working towards becoming a dementia friendly community etc....

    To work with Age UK to provide a weekly day service for people with dementia ( implemented) 

    To set up  a weekly ‘Tuesday Club’ for people with dementia (living independly or from local care homes) including activities, crafts, refreshments, befirending etc.(implemented).

    To set up fortnightly dementia peer support groups in partnership with Sue Ryder (implemented) to provide information and support to carers and people with dementia/memory problems

    To organise a dementia information open day involving public, 3rd sector and local community to raise awareness of local services and encourage people to access them, leading to new referrals and more co-ordinated local services  for people with dementia and their carers (implemented).

    To visit people with dementia and provide pastoral support to those in Sprotbrough Care Homes (implemented) 

    To set up a memory cafe in partnership with Alzheimers Society (planned)

    To support awareness raising with local businesses, schools, uniformed organisations  (being explored) etc. and help support ‘compassionate’ caring communities.

    Status:
    Implementation, Planning
  • To ensure the church buildings and services are dementia friendly ( churches)

    Drawing on the support from Christian disabled charity ‘Livability’ and diocesan/circuit resources to audit/review the buildings and services, to make them more dementia friendly e.g. clearer, simpler, more tactile etc. 

    To develop and pool and bid for resources that aid reminiscence and spiritual experience e.g. Godly play, memory boxes, old picture books, old games  etc..

    Status:
    Initial Scoping