Dementia-Friendly Community Learning Groups


Lack of awareness about dementia contributes to social stigma, isolation and a lack of community support. Over the past three to four years, the concept of dementia friendly communities has emerged in response to these issues and commitments. Items  6 and 8 of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia call for the creation of dementia-friendly communities who know how to help and support people living with dementia as a part of the community.

In the winter of 2011-12, an adult and community learning approach to creating dementia-friendly communities was successfully piloted in seven Oxfordshire communities. This project aims to extend that approach significantly, extending dementia-awareness-raising activity into new sections of the community, including local businesses and workplaces.

This project seeks to establish 60 volunteer-led, community groups in a range of Oxfordshire communities. Each group will undertake a short programme (six two-hour sessions) to learn about dementia then develop a practical plan to enable its community to become dementia-friendly. Learning will include input from specialist dementia trainers and also from providers of local dementia-related services. Planning will focus on practical ways for each community to support local people affected by dementia.

The project will network individual groups to share and develop ideas and effective local approaches.

Evaluation will be led by the Institute of Public Care.

Planned outcomes

The project will deliver:

  • 60 self-managing community groups, with 200 lead volunteers with informal quality dementia training
  • 60 Community Dementia Champions
  • 60 local action plans to increase practical community led support e.g. local information points, memory cafes, carers support groups, befriending circles, good neighbourhood schemes, informal respite opportunities

In this way it will help create a more dementia aware county with better skilled volunteers and a better experience and improved quality of life for people living with dementia

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