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Unlimited Potential

Unlimited Potential is a social enterprise that specialises in social innovation for happiness and health. Drawing on the strengths of local people, we aim to support people to lead happier and healthier lives; to help people who want to develop their skills and abilities to fulfil their potential; to be a happy and healthy enterprise that has the best possible impact for people and for a sustainable world.

31 October 2014
North West
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?

We do not change anyone’s life; we support people to improve their own. Our services start with the strengths of a person, group or community. We focus on what is important to them and support them to achieve their chosen goals in life. We see people in their own social context (including carers), rather than as individuals alone. Our one-to-one services reflect this, in which we design a plan with each person and then record the outcomes achieved.

 We also aim to ensure that the voices of those people most marginalised are heard. We identify, engage and support those parts of a population that are seldom, if ever, heard, including through ambassadors.

 We specialise in social innovation to create new solutions to social issues. Gaining evidence for any activities is important, so we seek to work with universities and think tanks to help us in producing evidence of what is effective.

 As an organisation, we seek to influence other organisations, such as statutory agencies, businesses and other social agencies, both in alternative perspectives on an issue and also to recognise and listen to those people they rarely if ever hear.

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

Key challenges to delivering these outcomes are:

  • The prevailing condition-focused orthodoxy that see a patient with DEMENTIA, rather than a PERSON with dementia.
  • Most services and professionals starting with the needs of a person or group, rather than starting with their strengths.
  • The current culture that severely limits the opportunities of people with dementia to speak for themselves.
  • Some mainstream services seeing a carer as an impediment, rather than an expert and vital partner.
  • Some community and commercial organisations not comfortable in dealing with people with dementia, and unsure how to respond appropriately.
  • Information often in formats and styles that are difficult for many people with dementia.
  • Insufficient evidence to demonstrate or support what works in a social context.
  • Research plans and funding tending to focus on technological solutions, to the detriment of social solutions.

2. Actions

  • Improving staff awareness

    We will incorporate dementia awareness into mandatory staff training, to improve the quality of engagement not only with people who have been diagnosed, but also with those people who have not. Consider creating Dementia Friends amongst staff through this training.

  • Living Well with DeMEntia

    We will run a pilot project, Living Well with DeMEntia, to explore the application of design thinking for people with dementia to design how the future should be for people with dementia. Alongside this, we will engage local service commissioners on creative decommissioning.

  • Social and technological innovation

    We will follow up the outputs of an exploratory workshop run with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), supported by TRUSTECH. Specifically:

    • Identify what opportunities that there are for STFC and partners, what they might be able to contribute from technological perspectives, and how to do this.
    • Identify possible areas for practical developments between social innovation and technological innovation.
  • Dementia Impact Fund

    We will continue to work with colleagues to explore the potential of social investment around dementia, with a particular focus on establishing a Dementia Impact Fund.

  • Salford Institute for Dementia

    We will support the Institute for Dementia at the University of Salford through our membership of its External Advisory Group.