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CARESCO is a Sawtry-based charity working to meet needs within the local community by providing services such as day care for the elderly, a car scheme, support groups and more with a small team of paid staff and a large number of volunteers. CARESCO also edits and publishes the Sawtry Eye village magazine and runs a charity shop to help financially support the work. The Sawtry Food Bank is a partnership between CARESCO and the three local churches under the guidance of Godmanchester Foodbank with the help of volunteers and other partner organisations.

25 January 2017
East of England
Care, Voluntary Sector, Charity
Local Alliances:
Huntingdonshire 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 objective of CARESCO is to provide services in the local community, including people living with dementia, their carers and families.  These services are usually particularly aimed at people who are elderly, isolated, or in need.

CARESCO has a number of existing projects aimed at, but not exclusive to, the elderly, including:

Friendship Club, a twice weekly group who meet together to share a cooked meal and companionship. Vintage Club, a twice weekly day centre where members can spend a day together enjoying activities and a cooked meal with the help and support of volunteers. Alconbury Thursday Club, a once weekly day centre, based in Alconbury, where members can spend a day together enjoying activities and a cooked meal with the help and support of volunteers. Sawtry Car Scheme, where volunteer drivers offer transport to those who cannot access public transport. Chatterbox, a monthly carers support group. Christmas Day Party, an annual celebration for those who would otherwise be alone on the big day. Sounds Good, a twice monthly social group for those who enjoy music and the spoken word

Whilst these projects are not specific to people with dementia, a number of people with that diagnosis will fall within the target group.  CARESCO aims to increase general awareness of issues around dementia and living with the condition amongst the staff, trustees, volunteers and service users to create a welcoming environment for anyone wishing to access any of our services.  In addition, CARESCO also aims to enable people living with dementia to be a part of our community and to continue to take part in activities with others so that they can find fulfilment.  This would include our other services which are not specifically targeted at older residents, including:

Sawtry Eye, a village magazine published six times a year and circulated to local residents. Printshop, a service offering low-cost printing for local community groups. Coffee Shop, a weekly café open to the general public. Charity Shop, a source of pre-loved items including clothes, books and bric-a-brac. Sawtry Food Bank, run by a partnership of organisations and based in the CARESCO Centre

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

The issue of dementia will have to be balanced with other competing priorities within the organisation.  The small team of part-time staff are already working to capacity in their roles. Lack of knowledge among our staff, trustees, volunteers and service users may be a challenge to begin with. A limited and already stretched budget.  Any additional costs incurred may need to be covered by external funding sourced through an application for a suitable grant. 

Member website


2. Actions

  • Join the Huntingdonshire Dementia Action Alliance (HDAA)

    Joining Hunts DAA (http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk) will facilitate sharing best practice around dementia, learning about other services available locally, and raising awareness of dementia within the community.

  • Adopt and regularly review an action plan

    By developing an action plan for improving the lives of local people living with dementia, CARESCO can manage and regularly review progress.

  • Arrange Dementia Friends information sessions on an ongoing basis

    Ensure that there are regular sessions open to firstly CARESCO staff and trustees, then CARESCO volunteers, then out to the general public.

    Being implemented
  • Raising awareness of dementia amongst the local community

    Offering Dementia Friends awareness raising beyond CARESCO to our partner organisations within the local community and other interested individuals encouraging partner organisations to take action and to become a DAA member.

  • Appointment of Dementia Champions

    As the programme of Dementia Friends awareness raising develops, we will look to recruit a small number of local people willing to train as Dementia Champions to ensure the initiative is self-sustaining.

  • Widening awareness of dementia

    As editors and publishers of the Sawtry Eye (circulation of 3000 to Sawtry and outlining villages), CARESCO staff will aim to include regular items in each issue to help to increase awareness of issues around dementia amongst the general readership.

    Being implemented
  • Work towards making Sawtry and the surrounding villages Dementia Friendly Communities

    By expanding the Dementia Friends training to the wider community through our partner organisations and other community groups, CARESCO will work towards creating a community with increased awareness of dementia and the resulting issues for those living with the diagnosis.

  • Identification of future work

    Through membership of the Hunts DAA identify further action points to continue to improve the way CARESCO supports those living with dementia including making environmental changes to our venues where possible.

  • Promote the work of the Alzheimer’s Society

    Through its contacts and activities, CARESCO will aim to promote the work of the Alzheimer’s Society and other services for people with dementia

    Being implemented