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Growing Old Grace-fully

Across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds, Growing Old Grace-fully (GOG) is a charity seeking to raise awareness of the spiritual and practical needs of older people, and of their potential contribution to our communities, by supporting and developing appropriate responses and ensuring that their opportunities for participation in the Church community are maximised. GOG’s work in the Diocese includes: • Organising Days of Recollection in different venues. • Support sessions for Carers • Workshops on Living Well, Dying Well • Supporting Leeds in becoming a dementia-friendly Diocese • Conferences to help reflect on different aspects of the challenges and opportunities in growing older • Supporting and sharing best practice in parishes and in deaneries through their website www.growingoldgracefully.org.uk

10 August 2018
Yorkshire and Humber
Faith Groups
Local Alliances:
Bradford District Dementia Action Alliance, Leeds Dementia Action Alliance, Calderdale Dementia Action Alliance, Doncaster Dementia Action Alliance, Harrogate and Rural District Dementia Action Alliance, Kirklees 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?

• Running at least one event every year, open to all, that offers practical suggestions and reflections on the spiritual care of people with dementia and what the unique perspective of those living with dementia can teach us

• Supporting parishes and other workers in the R C Diocese that aim to be dementia-friendly through signposting and encouraging and facilitating networking

• Sharing best practice and encouraging new initiatives to make the R C Diocese more dementia friendly through the GOG website

• Encourage the R C Diocese to commit to becoming a dementia-friendly organisation

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

A need to improve understanding of dementia amongst GOG’s worker, volunteers and both clergy and lay people working within the parishes, as well as Diocesan influencers and commissioners, to conclude that there is a real need to improve the inclusive and nurturing aspects of church communities by committing to a dementia-friendly action plan.

2. Actions

  • Improve understanding amongst staff and volunteers

    Project worker to receive Dementia Champion training and arrange for all trustees to attend dementia awareness sessions, who haven’t already done so.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    The Project Worker and one Trustee have become Dementia Champions.  All the trustees are Dementia Friends.

  • Organise an event to raise awareness of dementia in the Diocese

    An annual event entitled “Welcoming People with Dementia” to be organised and publicised at an accessible venue in the R C Diocese of Leeds, inviting speakers who can offer spiritual reflection and practical guidance on welcoming people with dementia

    Implementation, Delivery

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    The Project Worker ran one “Welcoming People with Dementia” event in 2015, with guest speakers who have both published works on living with dementia.  In 2016, the plan was to increase the number of events and make them shorter so they are more accessible and can reach more people.  This meant that we ran five “Growing a Dementia-Friendly Parish” information sessions in 2016, resulting in 71 new Dementia Friends and three parishes considering registering as a Dementia Friendly organisation

  • Support parish events and initiatives that raise awareness of dementia

    Publicise GOG’s commitment to encouraging dementia-friendly parishes and Diocese.  Support existing events around the Diocese by helping to provide speakers, relevant literature and pre and post publicity.  Share stories of best practice through the GOG blog.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have posted a report on our website for all five “Growing a dementia-friendly parish” events that took place in 2016, and circulated this to all the parishes that have their own website, inviting parishes to hold a short information session. 

    We also have presented at two meetings of the St Vincent de Paul society, a charity that visits people who are housebound, to explore possible partnerships to encourage the formation of dementia-friendly plans in different parishes.

    We have had a consultation with a Liverpool Archdiocese representative to understand how they registered as a Dementia-friendly Diocese.  We have worked to understand their process and journey in order that we might apply a similar route in the Leeds Diocese.  We have posted on our website details of Liverpool Archdiocese’s DAA registration.

  • Develop a resource pack for parishes

    We are developing a resource for parishes called “Welcoming Older People – ideas for and from parishes” which has a dedicated section “Growing a dementia-friendly parish” which we plan to publish and launch in May 2017.  We suggest four practical ways a parish can work to be more dementia-friendly, recommend further reading and include case studies, helpful tips and details of helpful organisations.  The pack will be available as a printed ring binder and also each chapter will be posted on our website as a downloadable file.