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Hexham Community Centre

Community Centre offering offices to rent. We hire halls and meeting rooms to local groups to run classes, courses and meetings. We run an Ofsted outstanding playgroup and 2 toddler groups. We also run an intergenerational group called Open Arms and a Wednesday Luncheon Club for older people.

9 May 2019
North East
Community organisations, Letting, Voluntary
Local Alliances:
Tynedale 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 would like to be part of the local DAA. We are the local community centre. We are used by people from all sectors of our community. We have dedicated weekly slots to help older people feel less isolated, some of these users have dementia. By being a member of the DAA we can increase our awareness of problems they may be facing and be able to support them without being patronizing. As a DAA member we can network with other local DAA members to build a town that actively welcomes all sectors of its community equally. Using our actions listed above we hope to become front runners in helping people to live with dementia and not be marginalized in our community. We will establish what actions are important to people affected by dementia mainly by asking them when they come to our groups. Staff here have already built up excellent relationships with people who use the centre, especially many of the older people and staff already go the extra mile to make sure they feel welcome and important in our building. Staff are very aware of their clients’ preferences. This will continue into our new areas of development. We have a volunteer to work in the Art for the Mind course who has a lot of experience of working with people affected by dementia and who will be able to feed back to Community Centre staff about what they want / need. Furthermore by networking with other local charities, groups and businesses about what they are finding out from their clients who are affected by dementia we will be able to create a untied front in helping people affected by dementia and make sure they have a voice that is listened to, that they are respected and treated with dignity.

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

The main difficulty may be to make sure we are reaching out to people affected with dementia and that they are not living in isolation. We need people to know that we are here and we have lots to offer them. We will be re-introducing ourselves to adult social services so they can sign post any people they deal with. We will attend the local awareness raising event in Hexham on 18th May to bring our services to the forefront of people’s minds. We will also use any networking with the DAA so that if anyone knows of a person affected by dementia who is suffering isolation or would like to try some art therapy, they will be able to help them maneuver towards us and any help we can give. Our other difficulty is often finding finances to fund our projects. We are a sustainable business but to fund additional activities we often turn to grant applications. We are also starting to offer more events to bring in additional funds and we are now looking at ways to expand our facilities to enable us to sustainably increase our income so we can afford to subsidize extra activities for people who will benefit but can’t always afford them.

2. Actions

  • Raise staff awareness of people living with dementia

    What we are going to do: all staff to attend the dementia awareness 1 hour training offered by local champion Adele Kinsella. Staff will be well equipped to help the people affected by dementia who come into the community centre. We will be able to anticipate some of the problems they may have entering a public building and help them to feel safe and respected. It is anticipated that this session will happen in the next 2 months. We will also be offering other organisations in Hexham the chance to come along to this dementia friendly session.

  • Keep staff up to date with information about dementia and offer other people the chance to attend dementia awareness sessions.

    What we are going to do; The community centre manager is to attend dementia champion training. This will mean we can keep up to date with dementia friendly news. We can make further changes to our community centre so as to welcome people affected by dementia. We will also be able to promote the alliance in our town through our dementia champion thus improving the town for people affected by dementia.

  • Offering space to ‘Art for the Brain’

    What we are going to do; we already run 2 groups where people living with dementia are particularly welcome.

    One is an intergenerational group called Open Arms; where older people can come along and have tea and cake with teenagers. The second is our Wednesday Luncheon Club which provides a hot lunch for older people, and company for those living in isolation.

    We are now working with our local DAA who want to start an art club specifically for people affected by dementia. We intend to run the club initially once per month  but we hope to extend that to 6 week courses.

    We have offered room for this and have found a volunteer who would be happy to oversee the group. The first meeting is scheduled to start on 1st July 2019. Funding is being sought.

  • Toilets and Signs

    We are going to make our ground floor bathrooms gender neutral. We hope this will enable couples to be able to help one another when accessing the bathroom.

    We will be auditting all our signs in the building to make sure they are very clear, easy to read and understand and are placed at eye level on the object they are signposting rather than simply in the general vicinity.

    This will make the community centre clear and easy to navigate by all people as well as those affected by dementia.