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Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham

The Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham is the Church of England in Nottingham., Nottinghamshire and a small area of South Yorkshire. There are over 300 churches in approx. 260 parishes. There are 71 Church Schools and Academies. Numerous Chaplains in hospitals, prisons, schools, HE and FE, and workplaces.

28 July 2016
East Midlands
Care, Education Sector, Faith Groups, Membership Organisations
Local Alliances:
Nottinghamshire 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 Church of England believes in God the Creator’s inclusive love for all people and Jesus, in his earthly life showed a particular care and compassion for those on the margins of society.

Christ himself modelled the importance of this in his own life and has set the pattern which all Christians seek to follow.  All people, whether cognitively impaired or not, are treasured as God’s children.

It is, therefore, very important that people with dementia are affirmed and treated with dignity and compassion within the Church and community.

 The Church of England contributes in many ways to the well-being of people with dementia via our parish churches and chaplaincies.

The role of the diocese is to resource and guide the churches in recognising and responding to needs.  We are doing this through:

  • Listening to the perspectives of people with dementia and their carers about how our churches can be dementia friendly
  • Providing dementia awareness sessions for the churches and recruiting dementia friends
  • Exploring ways to meet the spiritual needs of people with dementia  living in their own homes and in care homes
  • Ensuring people with dementia and their carers feel welcome at church and feel part of the church community
  • Representing the parishes in local Dementia Action Alliances

Working in partnership with other agencies to further these goals.

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

Responsibility for community involvement and pastoral care is exercised locally.  Whilst much leadership is provided by clergy, most ministry is delivered by church members on a voluntary basis.

With limited resources and dependent on the skills and interest of those involved, there is a considerable variation in the priority given to working with those with dementia and their carers.

Another challenge is overcoming the fear and ignorance that surround dementia and can mean that people living with the condition are not always comfortable about being open about their needs in church life.

2. Actions

  • Recruiting Dementia Friends in Churches

    The diocese employs a part time older persons’ officer who is now trained as a Dementia Friends Champion.

    He is seeking to deliver awareness training sessions in the north, centre and south of the county each year and recruit dementia friends.


    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    Dementia Awareness Training in Worksop approximately 14 people attended and became Dementia Friends

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    Dementia Awareness Training for Diocesan Opening MInds Group (mental health awareness) in Nottingham approximately 25 people attended and became Dementia Friends 

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    Dementia Awareness Training in Retford approximately 20 people attended and became Dementia Friends

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Dementia Awareness Tarining Session in Southwell approximately 30 people attended and became Dementia Friends

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Dementia Awareness Training in Langar approximately 25 people attended and became Dementia Friends

  • Encouraging Dementia Friendly Churches

    As a network of dementia friends develops we hope to encourage churches to become more open, accessible and supportive worshipping communities.

    To help parishes meet the spiritual needs of people with dementia within the Christian Faith. The Diocesan Older People’s Advisory Group (DOPAG) will work on practical steps churches can take.


    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    St Andrew's Church Nottingham launched as first Dementia Friendly Church in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham

    5/6 other churches exploring possibility

  • Working with others

    We will seek to learn from other members of the alliance and other organisations, as well as share our stories with them.  We will co-ordinate this plan with other initiatives in the diocese such as Opening Minds, our mental health awareness group, and Enable seeking to transform attitudes around disability.

    Initial Scoping