Royal Voluntary Service (Derbyshire)

RVS is a registered charity that provides services to older people in the community. We also support hospitals by delivering a range of services including onward support, cafés and retail outlets.

18 October 2013
East Midlands
Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Derbyshire 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?

WRVS is a national charity committed to 'making Britain a great place to grow old'. With over 45,000 volunteers throughout Britain we already support older people to live the lives they want - through practical local support that helps them stay independent at home and active in their local community.

From our recent 'Social Impact Assessment' we know that 89% of the older people we support feel less isolated after using WRVS services. Through understanding what each individual older person needs, WRVS services can support and re-connect people in ways appropriate to them. Whether through one to one activity, through befriending services, or in a group setting such as a social clubs, local WRVS services stimulate the social interaction so important to people with dementia

In particular the capturing of oral history, such as through the WRVS Heritage Plus project and subsequent sharing of best practice across Britain, enables older people and particularly those with dementia to stimulate and share their memories.

Finally WRVS believes by investing in preventative services we will transform the lives of people with dementia and their carers. It is through the provision of practical local services such as community transport, enabling older people to get to where they want to go, and home from hospital services, giving confidence when they return home after a stay in hospital, that WRVS helps people to stay in their own homes and be active in their local community for as long as possible.

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

WRVS needs three things to help us help older people with dementia. As one of the largest volunteering charities in the country, we rely on the time and energy of our dedicated volunteers to make a difference to the lives of older people. It is a challenge to find ways of attracting the new groups of volunteers - including younger people wanting work experience to get a good career, those on a career break and those who find themselves with time on their hands. These are not the traditional type of volunteer and for them, supporting people with dementia may need greater training, or particular people skills. We need to inspire young people to know that everyone, everyday, can make a difference to the lives of other people.

Secondly we need referrals. We need older people to know that we can support them. People come to us in a wide range of ways - through their doctors, their friends and family or on the recommendation of their neighbours. As a charity, we focus our activity on service provision rather than promotion but it is a real challenge to enable people to be aware that we can help them.

2. Actions

  • Existing and new partners

    WRVS plan to reach out to existing and new partners to share the proven impact of the services that WRVS provide, we intend to stimulate both potential referrals of older people including those living with dementia’s and identify funding to enable WRVS to help and support more people. Our growth strategy is ambitious and when in operation it will enable WRVS to share best practise from one community to another.

    WRVS are actively attracting and recruiting new types of volunteers that will enable us to deliver our vision for WRVS services; we are developing new opportunities, streamlining our processes and increasing our visibility both nationally and locally.

    WRVS are also focusing on being very clear about the social impact of what we do and how this can support those living with Dementia’s, we are joining up our services and providing an integrated offer to those living at home or in clinical environments. Older people will be in the driving seat in the development of individual care packages which will be outcomes focused and relevant to the individual.


    2013 - Fourth Quarter Update

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    2013 - Third Quarter Update

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    2013 - Second Quarter Update

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