Dementia Friendly Kent Awards
We are delighted to announce this year's winners. All Awards Winners were judged by people affected by dementia and their supporters. The Awards Ceremony took place on 19th May 2023 at 2pm as part of the larger Dementia Showcase Event at the Maidstone Exhibition Hall, Kent County Showground.
We would like to acknowledge the following Award Sponsors without whom the annual Dementia Friendly Kent Awards would not be possible: Kent County Council, NHS KMPT, The Good Care Group, Home Instead Tunbridge Wells and No Place Like Home Bespoke Later Life Support
Dementia Friendly Organisation Award
This award recognises an organisation or business that has raised awareness of dementia through their internal teams and external contacts and has made specific improvements to benefit people affected by dementia who use their service. They will be able to describe what they did and the successes they have achieved.
Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust have over the past 2 years been involved in a radical review and re-organisation of their pre-diagnosis, peri-diagnosis and post-diagnosis dementia services. This process has fully included people affected by dementia, listening, and giving equal place at the table around proposed changes. Improvements have included the setting up of Dementia Co-Ordinators to support the person throughout their dementia journey. They have also worked hard to provide more efficient and timely dementia diagnosis. Dementia Envoys, who are people living with dementia, work with trust staff to run 6 dementia service user involvement groups. They also link with a wide range of local and national organisations to improve understanding of dementia. Other improvements include IT training and specific courses for people with dementia which are facilitated by someone living with dementia supported by a psychologist. Learning from people with lived experience has significantly helped both people with dementia and their supporters.
Most Inspiring Dementia Care Provider Award
This award recognises a care service that delivers significant emotional and practical benefits for people living with dementia and their families. This service will be able to demonstrate engagement with national and local dementia best practice initiatives which enhance the quality of their care. Feedback from those receiving care and support from this service will be very positive.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services (ADSS)
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services (ADSS) is a local charity with a big heart and has been providing exceptional care and support to people and their carers who have been affected by dementia for over 30 years. ADSS provides memory cafes, day groups, support groups and activity groups all of which are invaluable in helping to live with dementia. Carers support groups recognise the need to support carers as well as those they care for. Home support services also allow carers to have independent time out of the house. ADSS employs dementia coordinators which enables everyone with dementia to have a named contact throughout their journey. Services are co-produced or adapted to meet the needs of the person with dementia and their families. The service is completely person-centred, committed to raising awareness across Kent, sharing knowledge and offering training where requested. Everyone is willing to go the extra mile to support people with dementia to live their best lives.
Symone Salwan - Outstanding Contribution to Dementia Award
This award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution through practical and measurable actions to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia in our county. They will also have inspired others to follow their example through collaborative and supportive ideas and practice.
Wendy Richley is an inspirational retired nurse, generous with her time and expertise. She liaised with key people and services supporting people living with dementia across Romney Marsh, she also consulted with people using existing services in the community. Wendy then went about setting up five Memory Cafes across the rural area providing physical support and advice whilst ensuring that she encouraged others to continue and sustain the groups. As a Dementia Friends Ambassador, Wendy provides multiple awareness session across the area to underpin understanding and to motivate people. As trustee of the Romney Marsh Community Hub, she was the instigator of the Dementia Friendly Community group, and successfully secured funds to book the virtual dementia tour bus. Wendy has a tireless and infectious enthusiasm, she understands what people affected by dementia need; to be able to live life the way they want to, Wendy has facilitated groups to achieve this.
Most Dementia Friendly Community Award
This award recognises the valuable work that dementia friendly community groups have achieved in the last 2 years. It may include supportive adaptations made through Covid and how the group succeeded in reaching out or kick-started successful initiatives after Covid restrictions ended. The group will be able to demonstrate measurable success for projects they have undertaken to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Oasis Academy Dementia Group
Oasis Academy Dementia Group students who have been working in the community for the last 10 years supporting people with dementia. The last two years they have worked hard to adapt during lockdown. Writing letters to let people know they were not forgotten, delivering Christmas and Easter gifts on Sheppey and in Sittingbourne. When they were able, they observed the ‘rule of six’ creating afternoon tea safely in the community. All students were tested and wore PPE. The afternoon tea lasted for an hour or so then everything was sterilised and set again for the next six people and so on. When possible, they worked with Minster Parish, the Sheppey Community Support Bus, the Salvation Army Sheerness, and Sheerness Town Council to provide more events. During the Jubilee they had over 100 attend the Academy, messages were sent to HM the Queen; they were delighted to receive a reply. Their work has received many prestigious awards.
Community and Partnership Project Award
This award recognises those who have worked collaboratively with another organisation, community group or business to succeed in a project or initiative that has improved the lives of people living with dementia. They will be able to demonstrate how they approached partnership working, what they did, and how the project or initiative has succeeded.
Valley Park Decaf & Wrinkly Network
After dementia awareness sessions provided by the Wrinkly Network and a person living with dementia, the six formers at Valley Park School took the learning and began a project to give back to the community. DECAF is an in-house event supporting local people living with dementia. Each term the students run a dementia café with the whole school involved providing lunch and entertainment involving health & social care, arts, sports and catering students. DECAF provide gift boxes at Christmas and delivered Covid gift boxes locally during lockdown. This collaborative ethos has grown and the school has embedded the project across the curriculum with activities, logos and business plans developed to raise further funds making their initiative sustainable. Their target was £1,000 and they have raised £8,800 to date. Dementia awareness has played an important role in educating younger generations and the DECAF project is a big attraction to new students at Valley Park School.