An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

DC email 7 Jan 2017                                                   hidden page 

Since my last conversation with you I have met with Revd S J to organise two different sessions of training/awareness raising.

In late February there will be an opportunity for people to come along to a Dementia Friends meeting, which aims to give those that attend an understanding of dementia and the small things people can do to help.  This will be offered to people across the churches.

See comment about public meeting later.

Then in March there will be the first of two workshops aimed at helping the churches in the town to become Dementia Friendly.  The second of these sessions will take place in May.

 Both the Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly Churches workshops will be advertised through Churches Together.

Via the Gazette?

public meeting is advised via the Mental Health Steering Group - MHSG.  

In addition, I have met with six people who are prepared to make themselves available as volunteers, however no one is able to take on the responsibility for the day to day running of the meeting centre.  They are  retired people who are already heavily committed, but feel this is something they would like to be involved with – probably on a rota system of once a month.  So we have a way to go yet before we have sufficient volunteers to get started.  Of this group one person has skills with drama and the other with music, and it will be this that they bring to the meetings when they are able.  The other challenge is finding someone who can be present for the whole day – this will obviously be an important factor for continuity etc.

I have made it clear that I will take on the responsibility for the day to day running of the meeting centre.  Also, that I will make a major contribution to running activites.  Volunteers (vols) without specific skills will need to see what that involves.  

The one vol arising from the publicity is able to contribute manicure, talking to participants, and cleaning.

I will meet all concerned to explain broad principles.  


Finally, Ginnie, from the Alzheimer’s society, gave me details regarding the Herefordshire DAA and I have passed this to Phil for discussion at the next Mental Health Steering Group meeting. 

I have sent Phil a reminder and let's hope the MHSG does our DAA application full justice.


I know you feel things are happening far too slowly but, on reading through the material from Worcester University, it would seem that twelve months planning etc is recommended to get a DMC up and running, in order to ensure all the elements required to facilitate a safe and properly run centre are pulled together.  

The formal project demands a vast amount of reading. It demands a public meeting.  Then there is an Initial Meeting - IM - of far fewer people to decide the modus operandi.  A lot of research is undertaken via sub-committees.  Funding applications follow the emergence of a Business Plan.  Hook-up is made with Dementia Action Alliance.  Via that and separate means stakeholders are sought.

Arrangements are made for the IM to receive a series of lectures on dementia and related issues.  There other inputs.  

My DIY approach has the main purpose of eliminating some of these time-consuming topics.  

The way this project is going, it will open as DC is leaving. That puts an immediate strain on the new minister. 

The DMC has no infrastructure.  There is no Advisory Board (AB) open to public scrutinity.  The present arrangement has not announced that it is the Decision-Making Body (DMB) which, effectively, it is..  CC Council (CCC) is advised to decide what its formal relationship with the DMC is.  It is recommended to become the AB.

The project has been live since September.  There is no prospect even of a Business Plan. 

The AB needs to be properly constituted in order to attract stakeholders.  It needs to decide if it will be a stakeholder itself.  If CCC needs an explanation, I will happily explain. 

We are still looking at starting this in March, though this may be put back if we do not have sufficient volunteers. 

We may not be employing paid staff,  

but we still need to find the appropriate number of volunteers, to check out references and to comply with DBS procedures, and plan an exciting programme that will draw people to the centre.  Those that have met with me are aware that they will need to provide references and complete DBS clearance before the centre opens.


We will get there, as will the Dementia Friendly Churches, and Dementia Friendly Community, but patience will be required.