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Blean Village Hall - Dementia Awareness Lunch Club

Blean,Hackington & Tyler Hill villages are working with people who live here with dementia to make our community more dementia aware as there is need. Volunteers took the step in 2014 to organise a monthly lunch club to support anyone who has been affected by, or who lives with, dementia, by offering companionship, informal support and a hot meal in a warm inclusive village hall and central environment. The aim is to encourage and involve rural and urban volunteers to follow this lead and provide a local "hub" for people in their community. Links have been made to Canterbury City Council community development and neighbourhood task force teams. It is hoped they will assist the facilitation and communication to other informal support networks (like ours) by acting as "bridges" and building connections to enthusiastic volunteers to raise their awareness. It is hoped Blean's model will generate interest in collaborative working and informal schemes, like Blean's month lunch club. These would meet and address local need in the Canterbury rural, city and district area for those who live with dementia, to complement formal services.

1 December 2015
South East
Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Kent Dementia Action Alliance, Canterbury 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?

Recognition of the need to offer local support to local people who care for someone, or live with dementia, The warm, informal and friendly environment of lunching together with time to talk (or not) with each other which includes the volunteers, offers everyone an opportunity to sit down and get to know each other on a regular monthly basis, communication is the key to understanding what is happening in their life. The regularity and personal invitation to lunch offers respite, friendship, support, food, an accessible and inclusive meeting place to all with a common cause, which is to raise awareness. It's held on a Saturday lunchtime when many formal services are closed, it offers a personal connection and positive outcome for all local people, especially those who live with dementia and their carers. Everyone in the community would benefit from the knowledge gained and understand better the experience of dementia, when people retreat.

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

A steep learning curve from April - December 2014 was experienced as we became a victim of our own success. The lunch club had an inclusive open door policy with invitations linked via local publicity, Age Concern and the Psycho-Geriatric hospital, which resulted in an overwhelming response from people living with dementia who came from a 10 mile radius of Blean in large numbers. This eventually challenged our initial aim and objectives of offering support to local people and raising awareness with our community which was diluted and lost as catering for increasing numbers took up all the volunteers time. By December 2014 this compromised the core group and local attendees as noise levels rose, more people from the district expected to come from word of mouth, and settled in their own groups, resulting in no time or opportunity for volunteers to sit down, eat together and talk which alienated many local people. Review in December resulted in a return to local people as priority, original aim/objectives via personal invitation. A Dementia Friends talk at open public meeting on 10th February in Blean Village Hall to encourage more participation and to raise awareness of Dementia with local residents and community, held.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Join Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance


    Attended above meeting on Tuesday 9th December 2014 and set purpose of meeting and terms of reference.

    Commit our organisation to becoming a supporter of the DementiaActio n Alliance. 




    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    5th meeting on 3rd December 10am - noon @ Blean village hall. Annual reports/actions  from group members/reps need to be submitted at or before meeting.  Agenda and minutes of last meeting circulated. New members joining.

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    4th meeting of CDAA with Tracey Schneider Chair held in Blean Village Hall 10am-noon 30th September.  Minutes taken and agenda circulated.

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    3rd meeting of CDAA 9 - 11am 9th June 2015 in room @ Canterbury ChristChurch Uni - with interested parties.  Next meeting offered @ Blean Village Hall as parking free and committee room available.

    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Dementia Friends meeting and talk by Peter Marsh in Blean Village Hall open to public on Tuesday 10th February 2015 - 7.30pm - 8.30pm

    2nd Meeting with Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance partners on Tuesday 10th March 2015 @ 2pm and other interested parties.



    2015 - First Quarter Update

    10th March 2015 - 2nd meeting of CDAA with partners/interested parties held @ CCC offices board room - Chairman Peter Marsh.

    2014 - Fourth Quarter Update

    1st meeting of Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance partners 9th December 2014 @ 2pm with other interested parties.


  • Dementia Friends talk and engagement Meeting held for local residents in Blean Village Hall 11th February 2015 @ 7.30pm .

    Open to all meeting advertised with Dementia Champion speaking to enable Blean's local community and others interested in becoming a dementia friend to come along and learn more about how our community can help those among us, to live well with dementia.


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    2nd meeting of Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance members on 10th Marc h 2015.

  • Dementia Lunch club 2nd Saturday of every month Blean Village Hall

    Volunteer led lunch club for local people who live with dementia and their carers who meet together for support on an informal basis.

    Started in May 2014 as local need demanded an informal service. Changes were made to lunch club in January 2015 to return to the aim and objective of addressing local resident's needs as a priority.

    The original open to all policy became overwhelmed by the high numbers attending from other areas in the district.  Efforts being made to persuade areas and volunteers to provide a similar local service and follow Blean's lunch club model 


    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Lunch club remains popular with average regular attendance of 24-30 invited guests drawn from locality.  Group formalised with appointment of Chairman and Treasurer from club's carer's group, formal bank account set up to reflect accountability and transparency for monies donated for lunches.  Intention: to donate to Alzheimer's Society any profit made with due consideration given to hall rent, food costs as expenses being the first priority.  £200 donated to Alzheimer's Society in June 2015, receipt and thanks received as displayed in notice board outside of hall.

    3 x  Blean Lunch club volunteers/carers attended KCC's exhibition and awards ceremony.  Blean recognised and given an award certificate as finalist + a medal which was announded and shown to all diners on 21st November at the lunch club with many thanks given to the volunteers. They will be displayed in external cabinet dedicated to Dementia Awareness @ Blean Village Hall.

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Lunch club remains popular and well attended, however less people some months during summer period due to holiday and family commitments.  Entry to KCC's DA awards in volunteer category submitted by statement of purpose, actions with a photograph as requested.

    Short listed in "volunteer category"and invited to exhibit a poster representing Blean D.A. lunch club and attend a day exhibition @ KCC's County Hall Maidstone on 17th November 2015.


    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Blean Dementia lunch group maintaining steady numbers from local community + careres.  Table taken @ fete with banner, leaflets and information available from group members to promote dementia awareness to the public at the annual village fete.  Many enquiries from visitor interest received and addressed by leaflets offered and conversations.

    2015 - First Quarter Update

    More local people who live with dementia and their carers have returned to the monthly lunch club as fellow guests are familiar and the environment is more conducive to talking and listening to each other at table with volunteers offering support where needed.

    2014 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Numbers of guests who arrive on adhoc basis from a wide area has become unsustainable and overwhelming for volunteenr team to cater for.  Local people have withdrawn as they don't know anyone and miss the peer group support and opportunity to talk in comfort.  Decision made @ Christmas lunch to limit lunch availability to those most in need with a local connection to Blean area and rely on invitation only to them, from Jan 2015.  Many people from the wider area were disappointed by this decision (made by the volunteers) however the lunch club needed to return to it's original aims and objectives to offer peer group and local support from volunteers.

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    Blean's monthly inclusive to all lunch club very popular and growing in popularity via word of mouth, health, Age UK and hospital attendees throughout Canterbury and coastal district.

  • 2nd Meeting of Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance group booked 10th March 2015 @ 2pm

    Meeting with a range of  representatives of professional, academic and voluntary organisation to  progress and assist the local group in their aim to enable the district and organisations to become dementia aware and encourage local initiatives to provide services to communities and people living with Dementia. 

    Being implemented
  • Support Dementia Awareness week 18th -25th May by creating an event

    Create a public event in the Blean Village Hall to promote and support Dementia Awareness wee.

    Coffee morning in the hall planned open to everyone interested will take place on Wednesday 20th May 11am - 12.30pm in the Blean Village Hall 2 School Lane, Blean Canterbury Kent CT29JY.

    Everyone welcome to attend learn about organisations who offer help and assistance, if you look after or know someone who lives with dementia please pass this invitation on.

    All profit/proceeds to be donated to Alzheimer's Society for research


    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Monthly lunch club continues to meet local need with increasing numbers attending from this area, based on personal connections and word of mouth.  Carers from core group are setting up peer support group for new members by providing simple information, leaflets and verbal sign posting based on their experience. 

    Dementia lunch club members hosted information table at Blean Village Fete on Sat 27th June to raise awareness and provide leaflets to the public.

  • Canterbury DAA group meeting

    Booked for Tuesday 15th September held in Blean Village Hall 10am - 12 noon - meeting postponed and changed to Thursday 30th September all members advised.

    Blean village hall are hosting the Canterbury DAA meetings in 2016 with dates already booked


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Canterbury Action Dementia Alliance group meeting 2pm CCC offices - attended by a range organisations and reps, Chairman Peter Marsh.