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Six Degrees Social Enterprise CIC

Six Degrees Social Enterprise is based in Salford. The organisation has distinctive a social mission, which is to build resilient communities; communities in which people with common mental health problems are accepted, supported and equipped with skills to deal with the challenges they face. As a community interest company we re-invest our trading surpluses for the benefit of the communities we serve. Our high performing services combine social innovation, with training and supervision to disseminate good practice.

24 November 2014
North West
Care, Health
Local Alliances:
Salford 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?

Six Degrees has developed an innovative, commnication skills approach called empathic curiosity, which can help caregivers connect with people living with dementia and sustain meaningful engagement in the here and now. Empathic curiosity is based on seven skill sets, which can be adapted for use with people who have mild to severe levels of communicative impairment.

• Being attentive to differences in individual needs

• Staying calm and relaxed

• Asking short open questions in the present tense

• Picking up on emotional cues

• Being sensitive to the pacing issues

• Searching for the meaning of simple metaphors

• Paying close attention to our own responses.

The approach has received favourable reviews from international experts and has had papers based on the approach have been published in professional and academic journals. The organisation is now in the process of establishing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Salford University's Institute for Dementia with a view to producing training packages based on the approach that can be accessed by both informal and professional carers.

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

We are looking to access funding in order to help us develop training materials that are based on the approach we have developed. However, the main challenge that we face is that of improving the quality of the social environment for people who are living with dementia. Our hope is that empathic curiosity may help to foster more balanced person-centred relationships with people who are living with dementia, relationships that are based upon equality and common understanding, rather than power and dependency. Helping people who are living with dementia to feel connected to their friends, families, the communities they come from and the places in which they live.

2. Actions

  • Establishing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) support UK businesses wanting to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge and expertise available within UK Universities and Colleges. KTPs are funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with a consortium of twelve other funding bodies, which offer businesses access to grant funding that can support up to 67% of the costs of a KTP. In order to satisfy the Boards criteria we will have to demonstrate that:

     •There is a clear need for knowledge transfer

    •The potential outcomes/benefits are unlikely to occur without the KTP project

    •The ongoing involvement of our academic partner in the project delivery is essential

    •Our project is innovative, of clear strategic relevance to our business and has the potential to generate social value

    •That we are capable of making significant use of the knowledge, skills and/or capability to be transferred

    Being implemented
  • To develop a modular training course

    This project is designed to enhance the way that health service workers and carers communicate with people living with dementia. The project is being run in partnership with the University of Salford and it is has received financial support from Health Education North West’s Local Workforce and Education Group. It will be piloted in six nursing homes, residential and care centres working with people with dementia.

  • To improve dementia awareness within the local community

    Everyone who works for the organisation is being given access to Dementia Friends training and three members of staff are to be trained as Dementia Friends Champions so that they can run information sessions in our local community.

    Being implemented