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Cotman Housing Association

We are a Norwich based Housing Association providing housing across a range of tenures, including sheltered housing, and leasehold retirement properties. Our services are tailored to meet the needs of local communities. One third of our housing is dedicated older persons' schemes and many more older people live in our general needs housing stock. We are commissioned by Norfolk County Council to deliver Outreach support to older people living in Norwich. Our clients can be owner-occupiers, private rented tenants, council or HA tenants. We are lead partner in a £1million Big Lottery project to promote financial confidence in tenants across Norwich. We manage a small welfare fund for older people across Norfolk on behalf of the Josiah and Mary Brewster Charitable Fund. Our mission statement is "Meeting needs to create strong communities".

20 December 2017
East of England
Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
Norwich City 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 are commissioned to deliver one-to-one support to older people, including those with dementia. Our outreach service is free at point of delivery and we work with service users to achieve agreed outcomes that respect their wishes. Our sheltered housing schemes offer safe, accessible accommodation with low-level support on site. We host two community lunch clubs a week, at which people with dementia and their carers are welcome. It is very important to us that our communities are dementia friendly and a majority of our staff have attended a dementia friends session. We also participate in strategic debate at meetings with specialist organisations such as Age UK, and promote their range of services to potential beneficiaries.

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

1) We do not receive as many referrals as we would like from GPs and feel that this is an important gap as our Community Outreach Service can support people with dementia to stay independent. So, lack of joined up awareness about services is an issue.

2) Funding may be changed or withdrawn as ours is not a statutory service despite helping prevent need for more intensive services

3) Lack of awareness societally about dementia and consequent stigmatisation/ lack of community support

Member website


2. Actions

  • Raise Awareness of Dementia to Staff and Volunteers

    Member of staff to complete Dementia Care Coaching Programme and meet with all staff teams in 2017 to deliver coaching and facilitate discussion.


    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Our Support and Tenancy Sustainability Manager completed the Dementia Care and Coaching Programme through the Dementia Alliance. She has delivered an interactive session to all staff at Cotman in the summer of 2017, which prompted a good discussion. We've also hosted Dementia Friends sessions for staff and contractors. As a staff team, we participated in the Alzheimer's Society Memory Walk in September 2017 to raise awareness and fundraise.

  • Promote our offer with NHS Staff Description

    Undertake marketing campaign with Practice Managers regarding our service offer and highlighting link with Prevention agenda. Undertake pilot outreach presence at GP surgery.


    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We worked with Practice Managers at Lionwood Surgery and St. Stephen's Gate, Norwich. We delivered a pilot weekly presence in both surgeries from June to August 2017. Unfortunately, funding cuts meant we were unable to continue with this, but the links with the Practice Managers mean that we have created a sustainable network.

  • Make our Service more Dementia Friendly

    Review our existing literature, especially handbooks and leaflets to enhance references to dementia and the support which is available. Publicise that staff are dementia friends. Explore assistive technology offers and ensure staff are aware of products that can help support people to live well with dementia. Where possible, incorporate dementia friendly features in capital improvement programmes – for example, using colour contrast between doors and walls in blocks of flats

    Being implemented

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We have installed a dementia friendly lift at our sheltered housing scheme in Norwich to ensure that the scheme is accessible to persons living with dementia. This significant capital investment reflects our committment to making Norwich a dementia friendly city.