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Brighton and Hove Food Partnership

The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership (BHFP) is a hub for information, inspiration and connection around food. We help people learn to cook, grow food, eat a healthy diet and waste less. We prioritise work with vulnerable adults and people experiencing deprivation, isolation, poor health and other life challenges. Independent evaluation shows that our work makes lasting changes to habits and behaviours which improve lives. We all eat, and food is central to life’s celebrations and memories – food activities can engage a wide range of people. Our approach uses this power of food to bring about change. Our main projects include: teaching cookery; community & therapeutic gardening; redistributing & reducing food waste; tackling food poverty; improving buying policies for large caterers and nutrition programmes. . We influence policy at a local level and share our message nationally to achieve long-term change.

19 January 2018
South East
Charity, Community organisations, Health, Recreation, Voluntary, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Brighton and Hove 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?

Brighton Hove Food Partnership has been funded by Brighton & Hove CCG to provide one of a range of early intervention activities that will be accessible to people with dementia and their carers in the community. The activities are aimed at people who have recently been diagnosed, and those with mild (and in some cases moderate) dementia. Our outcomes are: - Provide engaging/cognitively stimulating activities to people in early stages of dementia - Improve the health and wellbeing of people with dementia Reduce social isolation for people with dementia and their carers Support people with dementia to remain active in the community for longer People with dementia and their carers feel more confident accessing To achieve these outcomes we offer cookery and gardening activities for people with dementia and their carers. The activities aim to increase confidence, physical activity and improve well-being.Cooking, eating and spending time preparing a meal can be a wonderful activity to help bring back happy memories of the past or previous knowledge. At our cookery sessions, participants get involved in preparing a healthy meal, with different dishes each week. We then eat the food together as a shared lunch.Gardening is a wonderful activity to help improve wellbeing, get outdoors and take time to notice nature. Our weekly sessions provide a gentle, regular activity with a friendly group and a chance to build confidence.

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

Securing a suitable venue for the garden group proved somewhat challenging. BHFP run various garden spaces already but unfortunately none of these was appropriate; so we have had to pay to rent a space at another garden.  The hired venue also had limitations on the size of the group. The level of physical mobility needs in this client group has been challenging.  Recruitment of participants  has been a challenge particularly since this client group was new for BHFP and building up awareness of a new service takes time, as does developing a database of appropriate referral contacts. The population of people with dementia in the city is relatively small, particularly since low rates of diagnosis, stigma and reluctance to self-identify can all hamper engagement. Key services in the city such as the Memory Assessment Service took time to engage with the activities and efforts to refine promotion methods are ongoing. 

Member website


2. Actions

  • Suitable venue for Dementia activities

    During Year 2, another, larger garden space became available and a taster session was delivered there at which previous participants gave very positive comments about suitability in terms of physical access and community links (there is a secondhand shop and café on site).  BHFP are opening a community kitchen this Spring which will be suitable for dementiacookery. For both cookery and gardening activities, staff found that venues which had links to the wider community where participants could continue to visit after the groups had ended brought additional benefits to participants and carers (eg a community pub, shop, café).

    Being implemented
  • Accessibility of activities

    The level of physical mobility needs in this client group has also been challenging. This does cause some complexities in the garden group, but staff find this is best assessed through an initial ‘taster’ session on site to gauge any issues, rather than detailed assessment via telephone. So far they have been able to accommodate most people by ensuring appropriate levels of carer and volunteer support. 

  • Recruitment of participants

    All providers commissioned under this early intervention funding have aimed to support each other with promotion, cross-referring where possible. Efforts to refine promotion methods are ongoing. Referrals have increased gradually over time, and evaluation results show very positive impacts for participants who have attended activities.

  • Engagement with Carers

    Evaluation has also shown a significant impact on carers, in terms of meeting other people in a similar situation, having some respite from their caring responsibilities or in the therapeutic benefits of the activities, particularly the gardening. We currently want to prioritise participants who would attend with a carer in order to maximise these benefits. We also want to trial activities which particularly benefit carers eg carers taking time out during the session to go for a cup of tea together to get some time away to bond with each other.

    Being implemented
  • Widening our reach

    To widen out the potential client group for the activities, possibly to include older people without a dementia diagnosis.
    Initial Scoping