Made it up to John o Groats after 14 days. We had an amazing journey with lots of adventures. The whole experience was fantastic.
I am now having a wee rest in the Orkney Isles in a cottage for a week.
Will be back in Norwich by the end of the month. I will give you a ring then. The sponsor money is still coming in.
Way Back When Reminiscence group launched
The first of our monthly 'Way Back When' reminiscence afternoons was held on April 12th and was very successful. Everyone enjoyed chatting about past times lubricated by a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and all brought to mind by our collection of vintage photos and objects from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The next session is on May 10th in Dove Cottage from 2pm. Please come along and help us to make it into a regular event filled with lots of laughter and, perhaps, some of the spicy tales of Debenham Way Back When. Please notice that these get-togethers are for everyone, family carers who need a bit of relaxation, those who have difficulty remembering what they did yesterday but who can share their stories of earlier times in amazing detail, and those who just enjoy a friendly trip down memory lane. It would be wonderful to welcome you, feel free to bring along something of interest from home but, most of all, bring your memories. Click here to find out about all our activities and groups.
Following a presentation to an audience in South Wales in March 2016, we realised that although what we actually do in The Debenham Project is relatively well known and recognised locally, regionally, and even nationally, we haven't tried to capture the philosophies, the way it works, the key elements of its success, etc. So we have provided a “narrative” to each of the slides in that presentation. We hope that it proves helpful in understanding not only the what, but also some of the why, when, who and how, and that it will help in encouraging other rural communities in supporting those affected by the impact of dementia on their lives. Click here for "The Four Mile Rule" PowerPoint presentation or here to download it as as a pdf document.
On average, the annual cost of running The Debenham Project amounts to approximately £8,500. This is equivalent to about £1 per head of our catchment population or just £85 pa per family struggling to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives. We are incredibly fortunate that more than half of our financial needs are met by the generous donations given by individuals and local organisations. However, we still have to find the other half and this is not easy. Charitable foundations and funding bodies much prefer to give grants towards supporting new projects and activities and are reluctant to commit their funds towards the ongoing expenses of mature projects such as ours. So this grant from Sports Relief is particularly welcome - Thank you
Earlier this year we were asked if we would share our experiences with active community groups, professionals and decision makers in Wales. This was in connection with a Welsh Government initiative to improve post-diagnosis dementia support and community- based activities and services for the elderly and frail generally. As a result Paddy and I participated in an event in Porthcawl, a team from the government came here to make a video contribution presenting 3 leading initiatives, the publication of an insight into The Debenham Project ("The Four Mile Rule"), and a number of opportunities for community groups in Wales to consult us by telephone and e-mail. Click here to watch the video (The Debenham Project is the second project that is featured).
A review of the progress and achievements of the project carried out in October 2012.
Four years ago Debenham set out to help all those families in our area that were trying to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives. Little did we think that "getting up and doing something" would lead to the recognition at local, county and even national levels of The Debenham Project as a leader in providing community-led support services for family carers and those they care for. Our hopes were that if we could just provide some simple local services like access to information and advice, a lunch club, a weekend telephone help line, an opportunity for meeting over tea and chocolate cake, and guided links to professional support, that might make a difference to the quality of life for those caring for someone with dementia. Our hopes have been exceeded many times over and it is all due to the tremendous goodwill and efforts of more than 100 volunteers who have offered their time in one way or another - but also to the support and collaboration with local businesses and organisations, the Parish Council, the local authorities, and charities such as Age UK, Suffolk Family Carers, and the Alzheimer's Society. Arguably, The Debenham Project has created an example of what can be achieved "with a little help from our friends" and a model for other rural communities to draw upon.
Over the past years we have increasingly been asked to talk about the project with groups and at conferences throughout the East Region and beyond. So we were delighted to be asked to present The Debenham Project as an example of what Suffolk is doing to meet the "Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia" at the ministerial road show held recently in Cambridge. We provided a professional display stand followed by a presentation to the conference with the Minister for Care (Norman Lamb MP) in the front row. Also sitting in the front row after my presentation, I was so delighted with Norman Lamb's compliments on our efforts, his description of the project as "inspiring", and, particularly, his wish to hear more about our work.
See more: Presentation slide show for the Ministerial Road Show.
Healthwatch is the new national consumer champion for both health and social care and is your independent way of making your views known. The Debenham Project is actively represented on the Mental Health group that looks after all aspects concerned with dementia and memory problems. If you have any concerns about the services that have been provided by the NHS and Social Care please let us know.
Healthwatch Suffolk Website
David Cameron challenged villages, towns, and organisations to become “Dementia Friendly Communities”. Debenham has agreed to become an "early adopter" and share our experiences to help others. We were also invited, on behalf of Suffolk, to make a presentation to the recent "Ministerial Road Show" in Cambridge and we were delighted to be complimented by Norman Lamb for our "inspirational" achievements. Read more.