Celebrating Communities: Conversation #4

Hello and welcome to our 4th conversation!

 

We had an evening drop-in session last week to give space for those who can’t make daytime. We had some familiar faces returning, and some long-time friends of DFEL coming into Celebrating Communities for the first time. We had a wee chat while folk popped in and then said our hellos.

 

Some key points from the session:

Carer Needs

Anne from Open Arms Carers Peer Support spoke to us about the ongoing issues carers and people living with dementia are facing:

  • Lack of respite
  • Lack of social interaction for people living with dementia is showing to have detrimental effect
  • Friendships, seeing people and going for a walk or a coffee is missed
  • Lots of deaths means more carers leaving the group
  • It can be daunting for people contacting / getting in touch to connect with the group
  • People may not be aware the group is running – there is a need for publicity

Recommended Key Areas of Policy Focus:

  • Respite
  • Emotional support
  • Practical support

Accessing Support

This opened up a conversation about practical help and how this has been identified as a widespread issue, for carers and those living with dementia, but also for families supporting children with additional needs.

Who is best to turn to for this support and advice, and if you don’t have someone you know or a professional to help, is the support available?

Focusing on Community

With a lack of national system in place for this practical and emotional support, it’s perhaps a case of post-code lottery. It was agreed that the greatest strength in community assets, and more access to these community gems would help, along with an injection of funding and resources.

 “People being able to lean on people rather than organisations is key”.

“Often best person is person next door”

“There is no organisation in place that’s big enough to do what communities have done”

“Neighbours and communities coming together – is just about spreading joy”

Community Projects

Linda shared an update on the Law Quilters and we heard about the wonderful quilt project that has been created as a celebration of community during lockdown. Each panel represents something significant to North Berwick or the pandemic, including a puffin, a rainbow, and toilet rolls! Each panel will have a short narrative to give people the connecting stories, and the final quilt will be put on display at NB museum.

Transport for Covid Vaccines

It was noted that transport for getting vaccines locally is a concern as attendance has been down by 10%. Prentice buses and Handicabs have put on additional services now for the community hospital but the question of information sharing and whether people knew about their options.

Outcomes and actions

  • Encouragement to keep widely sharing transport information for community hospital access
  • A focused conversation with carers around practical support needs
  • Capturing stories like the Law Quilters & sharing as a reminder of the great things happening in the community

 

Watch the full conversation here:

 

What’s next for Celebrating Communities

We have hosted our drop-in sessions from Jan – March with an aim to:

  • Learn about what is important to communities
  • Find out what is happening within communities and how we can support and celebrate these
  • Give space for ideas and relationships to flourish
  • Identify needs/gaps within the community
  • Link national, regional and local organisations

We have had great engagement so far and want to thank everyone for your enthusiasm and support. There have been some inspiring conversations and great ideas to build on – we are excited for what comes next!

Following March, our hosted drop-in conversations will be monthly, with various speakers and themes along the way. We will continue hosting themed conversations like Walking in East Lothian as the needs emerge..

Our main focus in the next stage of the project is to work with the enthusiasm and ideas, and help communities to build on projects that they would like to see happening locally.

If you have any feedback, or if there is anything specific you want to chat about or share please feel free to get in touch: maya@dfel.org.uk

When we next meet:

Celebrating Communities: Drop-in (morning)

Thursday 11th March – 10.30am

Please click here to register in advance

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you are having trouble with registering, please click here to join the conversation instead.

Join over telephone: Call +44 203 901 7895. Enter the Meeting ID: 870 2296 1021. Then enter the Passcode: 923676.

Celebrating Communities: Drop-in (evening)

Thursday 25th March 2021 – 6.30pm

Please click here to register in advance

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you are having trouble with registering, please click here to join the conversation instead.

Join over telephone: Call +44 203 901 7895. Enter the Meeting ID: 825 0646 0407. Then enter the Passcode: 872789.

Dementia Awareness Training

Thursday 18th March 2021 – 11am – 12.30pm

Age Scotland have kindly offered a free Dementia Awareness Training workshop. The training is informal and fun, you can find more information on their website here. Email maya@dfel.org.uk to register.

This work is supported with funding from the Life Changes Trust. The Trust is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. 

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