St James the Great Church

We are a church of England church in a multi cultural area on the border of Leeds and Bradford looking to build a community with our church and parish hall at the hub.

Updated:
20 November 2018
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Faith Groups
Local Alliances:
Leeds 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 looking to build a community in our multi cultural parish. We are aware that it is important that people living with dementia are not isolated and are treated with respect and encouraged to get involved fully with any activity we hold. We do not hold specific services for people with dementia rather we make them welcome at any of our services and particularly at our family service which is very interactive and where all words are on the screen but also our congregation are asked by our priest to simply repeat what he says . A number of our congregation are living with dementia and we make sure that someone checks with their family if we do not see them for a few weeks. If they wish to carry on with actives roles in the church we help them to do this whilst being mindful that we must not take over from them. We also offer any help to carers by encouraging the person with dementia to come along to our activities as they have done in the past knowing they will be in a safe environment. We are looking to try and integrate younger children with older people to build a sense of community. We are working with the Places of Welcome group in order to set up a regular Place of Welcome for everyone on a regular weekly basis. We have carried out community consultations to find out what is needed in our community

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

The challenges we face include an ageing congregation, a number of who are struggling with their health and a number who have been diagnosed with dementia. We therefore have a smaller number of people who are able to follow up when individuals are missing and to help the those with dementia to get involved with activities. We are currently renovating our old kitchen to make it suitable to provide light lunches as a Place of Welcome . The start of this project has therefore been delayed.

2. Actions

  • Ensure that all PCC members and as many as possible of congregation attend Dementia Friends training course and learn about dementia

    All our PCC members and a significant number of our congregation attended a course run at our church by the Leeds branch of Alzheimer's society. Hold regular informal sessions where dementia is discussed to increase the awareness . 

    Uniformed groups have also had training sessions and have made forget me nots to bring into a special service aimed at widening the knowledge about dementia in the general community.

    Status:
    Completed

    2018 - Third Quarter Update

    Completed

  • Change nature of family services so that they are less difficult for those with dementia. Make everyone equally welcome and ensure that the church is as user friendly for those with dementia as possible.dementia

    The session leader for our dementia friends session came into the church and advised us of the areas which maybe a problem with the building, fortunately very few and we have acted to sort these. All our services are adapted to suit those with dementia by our priest who is happy to " work off script". In particular our regular Mass Events (Family Services) are very suitable , fully interactive sermons, easy liturgy, some older hymns but modern worship songs with lots of repetition. All words are on screen in easy to read type face , black on white. If anyone with dementia attends the service we ensure that they are seated next to a friendly face, trained as a dementia friend . The dementia friends are all DBS checked. If the person with dementia feels overwhelmed their friend will take them to an area of the church where they will be able to settle down quietly and recover and if necessary with go with them out of the church to the parish hall. If the person with dementia is an existing member of the church we include them in everything ensuring that they are able to attend any social events and arranging for them to be collected and returned home safely.

    Status:
    Completed
  • Set up and run a Places of Welcome cafe open to everyone with volunteers who are all dementia friends

    We plan to set up a regular Place of Welcome cafe which will be open to everyone in our community. We thought about a dementia cafe and decided that it was better to have something open to all which would enable those with dementia to feel part of the community as a whole for as long as possible rather than attending a " club" set up specially for them giving the impression that they are "different". The cafe will initially operate on Wednesday morning from 10:30 to 12:30 and will provide hot drinks and simple food, cakes, toast, toasted teacakes , light food etc.

    We are planning to have people around just to talk to those attending and to help with anything they may need. We aim to publicise this through local doctor's surgeries and libraries and we are asking local GP's to let people know who would benefit. Carers will be welcome with the people with dementia and we hope to be able to provide them with a break when they are able to talk to other people and make friends outside of their home.

    We currently operate a friendship tea group and anyone with dementia would be welcome to join this group which plays simple board games, does jigsaws and provides a venue for a general chat with friends of a similar age group. These meetings also include a light afternoon tea.

    Status:
    Initial Scoping

    2018 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We hope to start the Places of Welcome ion early 2019