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Parish church of St Thomas, Keyham (part of the mission community of St Peter and the Holy Apostles Plymouth

St Thomas' is part of the Church of England in Plymouth. We pride ourselves on offering traditional worship which is accessible to all. Holy Communion (Mass) is celebrated every Sunday here. Our building is level throughout and has a good sound system to assist those with hearing difficulties. We also have an accessible toilet . Our welcome team is always available during the service to provide assistance if needed. Refreshments are served after Holy Communion. We have connections with our local community. We aim to maintain a strong presence within our community as well as providing support and hospitality for those that need it. Many visitors comment on our welcoming nature.

19 June 2019
Local Alliances:
Plymouth 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?

St Thomas' aims to provide a welcoming and caring environment where all will feel comfortable, we feel that we can fully meet outcomes:              5-I live in a supportive environment where I feel valued and understood.   6-I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of the family, community and civic life.                                                                                      These outcomes are what we always aim to achieve for all, and we consider making people feel valued and feel a sense of  belonging, a high  priority for our church life, both for worship activities and community/group activities. This is achieved through our welcoming nature and through us offering opportunities to be involved to all.We also feel that through correct training, we will be able to signpost to other organizations who may be able to help both people with dementia and their carers with other outcomes.

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

Being a church building, we must consider that we are limited on what changes we can make in order to make the building dementia friendly; we are open to making 'reasonable adjustment' as would also be required to accommodate many other disabilities and difficulties.To facilitate this, we will carry out a dementia friendly building audit and from this, we will identify what reasonable adjustments can be made.

Except the parish priest, who also has other churches and other ministry responsibilities, we do not employ a full-time member of staff. We are staffed by a mission development minister who also has other responsibilities but we predominantly rely on volunteers. Our volunteers are committed and we wish to provide the option of dementia friendly awareness sessions to all. In order to facilitate this, we may have to provide several session times to meet the needs of our valued volunteer team.

We have level access throughout the church and we have a an accessible/disabled toilet.

2. Actions

  • Carry out a dementia friendly building audit.

    We intend to carry out a dementia friendly building audit. From this, we wish to identify suitable actions and adjustments we can make in order to make the building dementia friendly. We have to consider that we have restrictions to what can be made in a church building as well as considering resource availability to carry out such work.                                We will ask Claire Puckey from Plymouth City Council to assist us with this audit.                                                                                                                      Making our building dementia friendly will provide a more positive experience for those living with dementia as well as providing a more positive experience for those who care for family/friends and service users experiencing dementia .

  • Offer Dementia Friends sessions to volunteers.

    We intend to provide our volunteers with the option of attending Dementia Friends sessions. We hope that this will create a greater understanding of dementia to those who play a vital role in greeting/welcoming as well as assisting visitors to our church.

    We will try to provide 2 opportunities in order to meet the needs of our volunteers. From this, some may gain a particular interest in dementia awareness; in such case they may wish to attend the Dementia Champion training which will then give them have the ability to deliver future Dementia Friends sessions.

    For those volunteers who are unable to attend a session, we will encourage them to watch a short on;line dementia awareness video, provided on the Dementia Friends website.

    Being implemented
  • Make better use of the building for community groups.

    We have a long term aim of opening our hall which is part of the church building so that we can make a greater connection to our community. We hope to start a coffee morning in which all would be welcome.

    Initial Scoping