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Start in Salford

Start in Salford aims to promote emotional well-being and recovery by providing creative arts-based activities/horticultural and training opportunities for people who are, or maybe at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties or social exclusion. Programmes include Visual Arts, Crafts, Photography, Textiles, Mosaic, Creative Writing, Music and Horticulture. Sessions are run house at our creative arts centre and at outreach venues across Salford. We also provide sessions to the general public. Start Over Fifty The Start Over Fifty programme aims to combat isolation, encourage community participation and enhance wellbeing. Sessions are focused on a number of creative mediums and activities these include; Creative Activities, Drawing & Painting, and Tai Chi. An average of 16 sessions are run weekly at community venues across Salford. We also deliver sessions in sheltered accommodation and in care homes. We have a number of people who have dementia who attend our arts sessions.

3 November 2014
North West
Arts, Health, Recreation, Voluntary Sector
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?

Start in Salford has been working with the most vulnerable members of the community for over 21 years. We deliver a range of creative, arts and horticultural activities from our own creative centre which has numerous well equipped studios and workshops, a large garden as well as a gallery space. We also have a large community growing space within our local park. In response to the needs of older people in 2006 we developed a specific programme of high quality activities for older people over the age of 50 called Start Over Fifty. This programme delivers a range of creative arts sessions and is based on the 5 ways to wellbeing approach all aimed at improving the quality of life for older people. We deliver at least 16 sessions at any one time across the City of Salford at easily accessible and mobility friendly venues. We have also been able to set up at least 8 user run groups across the City and we continue to support these groups through a steering group that meets quarterly. The range of sessions and venues include sheltered accommodation and care homes where we do have a number of participants who have dementia. With this in mind we have continued to develop our sessions to accommodate those residents with dementia without segregating them from the general group. We are also in the process of devising a programme of activities that are aimed particularly at people with dementia and other mental health difficulties and we are looking at activities for carers. Staff from the venues have completed evaluation forms which illustrates the value of our work with its residents. This will be helpful in demonstrating the need for more/new services. We also offer a range of placements to students of social work, occupational therapy and nurses which will help raise awareness within the professions.

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

The main challenges are working with venues that are not always aware of the needs of people with dementia and how to accommodate them within activities and what activities they think those people can participate in. There also need s to be more funds to develop innovative programmes of activity for people to attend which allows them to participate and mix with others. These activities can also be on offer to their carers.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Development of courses and activities

    Explore ways of expanding our range of courses and activities for people affected by dementia

  • Training

    Explore dementia awareness training opportunities for our staff

  • Evaluation

    Evaluate how many people attending our sessions have dementia