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Devonport Naval Base

Devonport Naval Base joined the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance in early 2012. At that time the Naval Base Commander’s wife was herself a carer to her mum who was living miles away and diagnosed with dementia; this was our first link to the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance and how we became interested in being part of a Dementia friendly Community.

11 July 2014
South West
Local Alliances:
Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we 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 included Dementia into our existing local Health & Well-Being Initiative and our initial aims were to raise awareness with Managers of staff who may be touched by Dementia in their lives and help them provide support, flexible working where required and demonstrate compassion to staff.  A listening ear and an open door costs nothing, but often the business “pay off” can be a reduction in levels of sick absence which made tangible business sense.  With such a large organisation we felt it would be useful to set up a network of support to help those who have been affected by dementia in their lives.


Our first task was to organise a focus group in April 2012 for both military and civilian managers and staff from within the Naval Base; the aim of the forum was to raise awareness about Dementia and generate and debate ideas/suggestions.  We also held a workshop outside the Naval Base to support the wider Naval Personal and Family Service Community.

Armed with the feedback from both groups it was already plain to see how many people’s lives were touched by dementia and caring for loved ones with other illnesses.  We recognised straight away that dementia was not the only medical complaint which affected carers and we felt we should support all staff, particularly those with direct and indirect caring responsibilities, irrespective of the nature of the medical condition.  This spawned the broader ‘Devonport Care for Carers’ initiative.

A local website has been developed that provides formal and informal help and information.  As well as the official channels available on the links, its aim is to encourage informal groups of people willing to share their experiences and offer advice in areas in which they now have some expertise.  It is hoped this will grow, thus enabling us to create a body of knowledge and experience within the organisation providing local support and establishment of a network of people who could share their experiences and help each other.


Since September 2012, the new Naval Base Commander (NBC) has picked up the baton and supports the initiative wholeheartedly.  NBC gave a speech to pledge the Naval Base support at the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance launch at Devonport Guildhall in September 2012.  The aim of this event was to engage with other local organisations and work together to make Plymouth one of the first “Dementia-friendly” Cities in the U.K.

NBC also gave a speech at Stoke Damerel Community College’s Dementia launch event in December 2012 which was officially launched by Angela Rippon.

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

To be completed

2. Actions

  • Well-Being Steering Group

    A Devonport Employee Well-Being Steering Group chaired by the Naval Base Commander, is about to be launched which will comprise of professionals and volunteers to look in more depth at supporting our people.  It will focus more holistically on topics such as; Employee Well Being, Health and Fitness, Managing Stress, Promotion of Awareness Opportunities, Support Networks, Access to Welfare and Promoting Lifestyle choices.  It is also hoped to train a Dementia Champion to raise awareness throughout the Naval Base.

    Delivery, Completed

    Update – First Quarter  

    Update – Second Quarter

    Update – Third Quarter

    Update – Fourth Quarter

  • Linking with the Ministry of Defence Strategy Senior Team

    When David Cameron issued his Dementia Challenge back in May 2012, he cited Devonport Naval Base as one of the organisations already involved.  Since then the Ministry of Defence at corporate level are keen to find out what we are doing locally.  We have now established links with the Ministry of Defence Strategy Senior Team and the Team is keen to understand how the initiative has been taken forward in the business.  Our aspiration is to make Devonport Naval Base a model workplace where professional expertise is used to proactively help the staff by ensuring that their work life balance is in equilibrium.


    Update – First Quarter  

    Update – Second Quarter

    Update – Third Quarter

    Update – Fourth Quarter