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The Friends of Hednesford Park

The Friends of Hednesford Park (TFoHP) was established in 2011 by a diverse team of passionate volunteers from the local community to support Cannock Chase Council in their Heritage Lottery Bid to Improve Hednesford Park. TFoHP provide events, activities and courses to integrate the whole of the community. TFoHP have recently applied for Charitable Incorporated Organisation registration and work to strict quality standards and procedures, they also work closely with Community Partnerships to support a network of good communication to be able to accommodate all sectors of the local Community.

27 April 2018
West Midlands
Other, Recreation, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Dementia Action Alliance, Cannock Chase 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?

The Friends of Hednesford Park (TFoHP) volunteers took part in the Dementia Champion training on August 28th 2014 at Birmingham Alzheimer's Society. From this training we trained all of our members and volunteers to be Dementia Friends so that we can understand and appropriately support our service users, support our visitors and families with dementia and appropriately sign post them on to the appropriate local dementia service providers if they need professional help. We continue to get new volunteers trained to continue the work we started.

TFoHP are part of the Support Staffordshire Cannock Chase team that is establishing Hednesford as a 'Dementia Friendly Community' and are building our Community network of emergency services, local shops, local health authority, schools and support services with our local dementia supporting General Practitioners, support services and volunteers with experience with dementia. By establishing these Community Links and educating the local community of what services are available, we are equipped with up to date and reliable information. TFoHP have established good links with local schools and will use our dementia training to raise awareness in young people. On of our volunteers is an Author, Cindy Faulkner wrote a book about dementia with the children from our Jackanory Afterschool Reading Club, and they produced the illustrations for the published book. 'Losing Gran' is a book about a family in Hednesford that learn to live with dementia and explains what a Dementia Friendly Community is all about. Thestory is unique to our community and effectively passes on the message to our young people. 

'The MASE Group' is a local organisation specifically dedicated to supporting our local families living with Dementia, we support and signpost our families to their monthly drop in. They provide a wonderful evening of entertainment, the opportunity to make friends, learn about new local support and meet other families sharing the same kind of issues. 

We have supported our local Town Council to work towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Community. We continue to support local organisations by providing Dementia Friend Training.

We established a Dementia Walk for Health in Hednesford Park in July 2015 as part of a district Walk for Health scheme.

We were proud to support Chase AONB (Area of Outstand Natural Beauty) launch their own Dementia Walks through the Chase Fit scheme during the Dementia Awareness Week 2016. 

Cannock Chase Council gained a Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate Hednesford Park and the Hednesford War Memorial. The new pavilion was opened at the end of June 2016. We have 3 Dementia Champions based on site and can provide Dementia Friend training on request in the Pavilion Community Room.

We support the Alzheimer's Societies National campaign of Memory Walks at Cannock Chase by supporting the annual event by providing marshalls to support the walkers. 

We continually assess the services we provide and attend the Cannock Chase Dementia Action Alliance meetings. The cafe in the pavilion 'The Parlour' started having meal deals on a Tuesday, so we trialled a meal and workshop for families living with dementia. We are applying for funding to provide a monthly free workshop to support the lunch on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for 2018.

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

1. The challenge to getting volunteers participating in the Dementia Champion training is:

a) getting people to sign up on the website to register themselves as champions, it is easier to organise a training day locally and get a trainer in to deliver the training. Getting people to commit time to complete the online form is time consuming and a little daunting if you are not used to completing forms and have not yet participated in any training.

b) getting qualified and experience people with presentation skills to give up their time to participate in the Dementia Champion training is difficult, most of our members work full time, it is easier to recruit volunteers that have the time and passion to participate in the Dementia Champion training, however the lack of experience of talking to strangers in groups in a presentation situation during the training will be a barrier to individuals signing up to the training. (I have requested that such volunteers are able to do a presentation on the Dementia Champions course as a small group with myself or another of our members that are used to public speaking)

We gained funding through the Midcounties CoOperative Community Fund to deliver Dementia Friend events in the park, however we did not have people turning up, so we have chosen to target captivated audiences instead. For example on Family Activity Days in the park we provide treasure hunts to raise awareness. We are continually trying different ways of raising awareness and trying to make it fun and interesting for children.

2. The Friends of Hednesford Park need to apply for grant funding to be able to set up a drop in facility in Hednesford park.

2. Actions

  • 2016 - 2017 Challenges for support of Dementia in our Community

    1. To provide Dementia Friend Training to the staff of the new cafe in Hednesford Park June 2016.

    2. To deliver 11am Dementia Friendly Walk for local homes supporting residents living with Dementia May 2016 and cater the walk specifically for their needs.

    3. To support new volunteers to attend Dementia Champion Training to deliver our Dementia Friend training throughout local schools 2016 - 2017.

    4. To support Dementia Awareness Week 2017 and update our Dementia Action Alliance file for our organisation.

    5. To support the Alzheimer's Society Memory Walk 2017 at Cannock Chase Visitors Centre by providing volunteers to marshal.

    6. To provide Dementia Friend training to local schools and as many young people as possible. 

    7. To apply for funding to bring vulnerable adults isolated in the community living with Dementia into Hednesford Park to enjoy Dementia Friendly activities

    Being implemented

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have booked training to make willow Forget-me-not flowers to decorate Hednesford Park through The Forest of Mercia on March 16th

    We secured funding through Cannock Chase Dementia Action Alliance to provide a forget-me-not sculpture as part of a sensory Dementia Walk in Hednesford Park. Robot Cossey has now completed the sculpture and we have had 2 features of the sculpture in the local media.

    Request for volunteers plan to deliver activity workshops on Wednesday 10th May at Hednesford Trinity Church's Dementia Friendly drop in lunch weekly activity and then again on the evening at the same venue for the Girls Venture CORPS Air Cadets (GVCAC) Hednesford Unit. The flowers will be displayed as an exhibition in Hednesford Park to support the Alzheimers Society Dementia Awareness Week the following week.

    Funding will provide a forget-me-not flower exhibition in Hednesford Park for the Demential Friendly Walks and for the whole week during Alzheimers Society Dementia Awareness Week

    We have designed a Dementia Friendly Treasure Hunt in Hednesford Park that delivers the training in a fun format for children to enjoy and take part in. If they pledge a dementia friendly action and answer the questions correctly, they will recieve a dementia forget-me-not windmill that we have designed with the 5 key messages. We have booked 7 Treasure Hunt Dementia Friend Treasure Hunt dates so far.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    The Parlour Pavilion Cafe opened in June 2016

    We continue to deliver a Dementia Friendly Walk on Mondays as part of the Walks for Health program through ChaseFit. 

    In the Summer we provided 11am shorter, circular walks of Hednesford Park to support local homes supporting individuals needs. 1pm interfered with their lunch and 9.30am was too early for individuals and carers. The 11am walk proved successful but taxi's were overcharging individuals and those who didnt have money were not able to access transport. The Winter months have prevented vulnerable elderly living with Dementia attending the park due to cold temperatures. We have spoken to Cannock Chase Environmental Health Services and they will take up the issues with overcharging individuals when walks resume.

    In the meantime we are applying for funding to cover transport costs and seeking advise for community transport provided by local voluntary services.

  • 2018 Action Plan 1

    1. To finish the Blossom Garden Project and develop the area by the Dementia Forget-me-not Sculpture to be more disability friendly and develop a path going through the Blossom Garden
    Being implemented
  • 2018 Action Plan 2

    To achieve funding to develop a monthly free craft workshop in partnership with The Parlour's Meal Deal on a Tuesday. We aim to provide the workshop in the Community Room on the 2nd week of each calendar month. April 2018 Update: We gained a small pot of funding from both Cannock Chase Dementia Action Alliance and Hednesford Town Council. We are now delivering a 12 month program called 'Hednesford Park Elderberries' on the 2nd Tuesday of each calendar month for families and friends living with dementia. They are making crafts for themselves and for decorating the park.
    Being implemented
  • 2018 Action Plan 3

    3. To complete the Midcounties CoOperative Community Fund we achieved to support Dementia. We have to deliver the Dementia Friend training and workshop to Hednesford Army Cadets and provide dementia awareness to families attending family events in the park.

    Being implemented
  • 2018 Action Plan 4

    Offered Hednesford Park Community Room to the Cannock Chase Dementia Action Alliance for the 6 weekly meetings that are held throughout the year to enable more people to be able to access the meetings. 

    By only being able to offer a Friday for these meetings The Museum of Cannock Chase was not able to attend, to compensate we have arranged to meet the manager of the Museum before we hold the meetings in the Park so that their voice is  represented in the meeting.

    Being implemented