East Riding Dementia Action Alliance Steering Group

Yesterday I was at my first meeting of the local DAA. Emma Williams is the local DAA Coordinator and kindly agreed to pick me up in the village on the way there. It’s held at the local Alzheimers society office. I was met by Donna as soon as I walked through the door asking if I’d like a cuppa – my favourite type of greeting.

Nigel Walker – retired social worker is the chair and the group consisted of many local people.

The group went round the table and introduced themselves. There was Emma, Margaret McHugh Alzheimer society services manager, Martin from airforce and police force background,, Simon Foster ex lecturer in further education, Julie from Age UK East Riding and Sandra, a nurse recently retired from hull university and me.

The first disappointing news to hear was that funding for Emma’s contract comes to an end in July and the Alzheimers society hasn’t managed to gain further funding. Very disappointing. So we now desperately need to find funding from somewhere.

Emma gave an update on all her wonderful work, including and started with an  update on Beverley Community Hospital that me and Emma are involved with and filled people in on the fact that we’ve got an engagement event in April.

‘No Hurry’ supermarket check out update – Sandra and Emma met Jeff from Asda who highlighted Asda in Kingswood Hull as a shop to trial and he was very positive in wanting to trial the check out. They’re working out the nuts and bolts about introducing it – they have a very sophisticated surveillance camera there and they’re very keen to evaluate it using this method. He’s an hugely enthusiastic person. Asda mission is to treat everyone as an individual – magic! They havn’t seen the ‘fast checkout’ as more financially benefit which is very refreshing. This started before I moved to the area and, in my opinion, their advantage is the name “No hurry” as opposed to “Dementia Friendly” as it will attract and appeal to so many others from mothers with children in tow right through the range to people with dementia. The name also has the advantage of not representing a huge arrow highlighting users as someone with dementia!!

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Ours is a very rural area – transport issues isolate people – the area covers around 1000 square miles. Simon said that the farming community would be accessible and amenable if approached by the right people – they’re often left behind, but this can sometimes be because they’re a very proud closed group of people. It would be good to set up a group involving them…..

Margaret highlighted that ‘Side by side’, starting in April, is all about reducing isolation – the farming community would benefit hugely.

Emma has been doing loads of Dementia Friends sessions all over the region and has organised a Public session Friday 11th March at Cherry Tree community centre for local MP Graham Stuart to attend before his surgery but it’s open to anyone and locals have also signed up.
Emma then went on to talk about us trying set up our support group “DIGER” – there’s been a history in the area of few people with dementia coming out into the open. Well we’ll do our best and see what happens.

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Dementia awareness week is 15th – 21st May this year.
Julie from Age UK know the people who own the local cinema – they run a senior showing on a Thursday morning and this may be an opportunity to screen a dementia friendly film or video. Nigel is also going to look into getting one of the empty shops in the centre and use for a pop up space during that week. Emma is wanting to ask local school children to take part in a ‘design a forget me not sculpture’ competition. It can be made out of anything. Targeting schools, scouts etc to design a forget me not in any way possible. Great idea.

Exciting project for 2017 is a Photo competition – Nigel has run photo competitions before and has lots of connections. It will be during Hull’s year of culture – Image has to be linked to dementia and have words – magic idea.

Louise Swingler – Yorkshire and Humberside DAA Project manager – joined us towards the end and tried to encourage other ways of finding funding in order to keep Emma. I hope we find a way as Emma has been so good to me since I moved and has done such amazing work in the region in the past year…………😔

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Me and Emma….

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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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