Dementia Wellbeing Cafe to be launched in Stratford upon Avon in December

Springfield Mind Dementia Wellbeing

Are you living with dementia?

Dementia cafés are drop-in centres offering a friendly and safe environment, where people living with dementia, and their family and friends, can come to meet others who are in the same boat, have a chat over a cup of coffee, share experiences and information, and learn about support available in their local communities.

Dementia cafés offer sessions with speakers from a range of organisations covering a variety of topics that help to support individuals living with dementia, their spouses, partners or children. The cafés can also provide a range of fun activities including singing and playing games from the past.

Springfield Mind will soon be launching a new Dementia Wellbeing Café in Startford upon Avon to offer support local people living with dementia and their carers.

10:00am – 12.00(noon)
Stratford Methodist Church
Old Town
CV37 6BG

PROGRAMME for Saturday 5th December 2015:
Doors open at 10am for light refreshments
10:15 Welcome and meet the team
10:30 Presentation – 5 Ways to wellbeing
11:00 Sessions: Carers group / Activities for all
12:00 Close

For more information and other services visit our website:, or Call our office: 01789 298615

MP shows his support to a local dementia café

Local MP, Nadhim Zahawi, visited Alcester Café in October, to see for himself how it had increased in number since his last visit, what improvements had been implemented and the vision for dementia care in Alcester.

After talking to various members at the café he sat with founder chairman Carole Zambonini and day care treasurer Margery Pickering to discuss how he could support them and the volunteer day care team with the next step – affordable day care for those with dementia.  The main problem they have is finding a site or suitable premises where day care could be held.

Day care will give carers some time for respite whilst the person with dementia is looked after in a friendly and safe environment. For more information regarding day care or the café contact Carole 01789 488088.

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Waitrose staff in Alcester become Dementia Friends


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Waitrose staff in Alcester joined one of the Warwickshire Dementia Friends Sessions  held in October to find out a little more about dementia and how they could help in their community and their local store.  After the session participants were invited to join members of Alcester Cafe for refreshments.

Alcester Cafe is run by volunteers from the local community and supports people with memory problems, people with dementia, their carers, family and friends. It is a free service and the cafe is open 10.30am-12.30pm Tuesdays and Fridays at Jubilee Hall. off St Faiths Road. For more information about the cafe contact Carole 01789 488088.

Dementia Friends is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society based on the principle that people with dementia can live well with a little help from other people. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things that can help people live well with dementia. You don’t need to already know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend.

You can become a Dementia Friend by:

  1. Attending an hour long Dementia Friends Information session. You can book a place by visiting the Dementia Friends website and searching for a local session, or
  2. Watching a short video on the Dementia Friends’ website and leaving your details on the site so you can be sent your Dementia Friends badge and Little Book of Friendship, or
  3. Groups may want to hold a group Dementia Friends Information session, perhaps as part of their regular meeting. Sessions last between 45-60 minutes. Please email:

Warwickshire hits its 10,000 Dementia Friends Challenge target


An ambitious target set at the start of this year to encourage 10,000 people to become Dementia Friends has been reached in under 10 months.

Latest figures from the Alzheimer’s Society have today confirmed there are more than 10,300 Dementia Friends in Warwickshire.

This means there are more Dementia Friends than people with dementia in the county.

Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “I’m delighted that in well under a year we could achieve this ambitious target of supporting 10,000 people to become Dementia Friends.

“In Warwickshire, there are estimated to be over 7,500 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the County by 2021. The fact is that most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes.”

Dr John Linnane, Warwickshire County Council’s Director of Public Health who became a Dementia Friend in October 2014, added: “A great deal of hard work has gone into reaching this target in Warwickshire and I look forward to this momentum around dementia awareness to continue to build.

“Now that we have achieved our initial target of creating 10,000 Dementia Friends, we will continue to create more Dementia Friends across Warwickshire. Our local Dementia Friends will also contribute to the national target – to create four million Dementia Friends in England by 2020.

“Our Dementia Friends drive is part of wider work around increasing awareness and understanding of dementia as part of Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia strategy. This also includes broader work,which includes such as creating dementia friendly communities, and providing dementia awareness training to front line staff in Warwickshire.”

Cllr Maggie O’Rourke, the county council’s Chair of the Adults, Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “It’s great news that we have achieved the 10,000 target. Dementia Friends is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society based on the principle that people with dementia can live well with a little help from other people. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things that can help people with the condition. You don’t need to already know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend.”

In Warwickshire, according to latest estimates, there are 7,615 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the county by 2021. Most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes. (Delete as repeated from above)

Warwickshire County Council has worked with many partners and people in making 10,000 Dementia Friends possible, including all five district and borough councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Coventry and Warwickshire Primary Care Trust, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, George Eliot Hospital, voluntary organisations and community groups, members of the Dementia Action Alliance, and the 20 Dementia Friends Champions in Warwickshire, who have been trained by the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver the one hour information sessions. (they received training from the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver the sessions)

To find out more about dementia visit

If you are not already a Dementia Friend and would like to become one you could attend the next session near you, or visit and follow the online process.

A day in life of … a Dementia Navigator, part 2 (Coventry).

My name is Michelle Brown and I work at the Alzheimer’s Society Coventry Office.

I have worked for the Alzheimer’s Society for almost six years, spending my first two years as a Leisure & Well-Being Worker supporting people with dementia to maintain their independence. I moved into the role of Dementia Support Worker after the funding for Leisure Workers stopped and have spent the last few years supporting people with Dementia and their carers to live well. In Coventry, we have recently combined the roles of Dementia Advisor and Dementia Support Worker into Dementia Navigators and I am now one of the Navigators supporting people in the city of Coventry to live as well as possible with Dementia.

It is a varied role with lots of work going on at the moment to promote the new service to other Health and Social Care Professionals in the city so my day is starting with a 9.30am meeting to present information about this to our local Adult Social Care Team. I have left them with several leaflets and referral forms to enable them to signpost people to us for support. The Department Manager thanked me for attending and felt the meeting was extremely beneficial to them all as they now felt they had a process for referring out for specialist support to people who were living with Dementia in the community.

As I arrive back in the office, it is straight into a team meeting with my line Manager and the other Dementia Navigator’s to discuss how the new service is ‘bedding in’ and identify any issues that may need addressing. We agree that the processes appear to be working well so far although minor changes to ensure assessment paperwork matches the requirements of CRS are noted.

It is now 12.30pm and I log on for the first time today to be met with a couple of telephone call-backs to service users, one who needed information about day centres and the other to discuss feelings around moving a person with dementia into a care home. The first call was dealt with by discussing different day centres and identifying what the carer felt was an appropriate setting . She asked for a list of the Day Centres in Coventry so that she could make enquiries herself and arrange to view a couple of them before deciding which day centre would be right for her husband. I agreed to post the relevant information and reassured her that should she need any further support with this matter she could call me back. The second call was from a service user I have been supporting for a couple of years. Mrs G was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia approximately six years ago and she remains living at home with Mr G meeting most of her care needs. Throughout the Dementia journey, I have worked closely with Mr & Mrs G ensuring that domiciliary care and respite breaks have been arranged but Mr G feels he can no longer manage his caring responsibilities and has recently come to a decision to move his wife into a care home permanently. He wanted to speak to me today to help him come to terms with his decision and understand what would happen next now that the care home he had chosen had confirmed they had capacity to take her. I agreed to contact the social worker on his behalf to request that she contact Mr G and discuss procedures and timeframes. I will continue to support Mr G during this difficult time and provide useful information to help Mrs G’s move into care be as ‘smooth’ as possible (i.e. life history book to accompany her which will inform her new carers about her as a person and identify some of her own belongings he may take ahead to her new room so that when she arrives the space may feel familiar to her). Mr G has often stated that he feels the ongoing support from the Alzheimer’s Society has enabled him to continue caring for his wife at home.

After clearing a few emails it is now 2.00pm and I am about to leave the office to attend a pre-arranged home visit. I have my briefcase with me which contains my assessment paperwork and plenty of information about Alzheimer’s Society services in the city such as Dementia Cafe’s and Singing for the Brain along with information leaflets from other agencies such as Carer’s Trust and Age UK. It is important to be prepared and have this information so that we are able to signpost to other agencies if they are able to offer a service which meets a support need. At 2pm I attend the home of Mrs J who is looking after her husband. We received a referral from our local memory Clinic to request support for them both after Mr J was recently diagnosed with Mixed Dementia. It became clear during my visit that Mr & Mrs J are coping very well with the diagnosis and just wanted information about ‘getting their affairs in order’. We talk about Lasting Power of Attorney and I leave the relevant fact sheet with them along with a list of local solicitors they may contact to support them with this. I talk about social opportunities such as Dementia Cafe, Resource Cafe and Singing for the Brain and leave leaflets relating to the same. Mr J used to be in a band when he was younger and music has always been important to him so he seems quite positive about ‘giving Singing for the Brain a go!’. Mr & Mrs J both state they feel reassured to have a Dementia Navigator as a point of contact for information and support.

That is my shift in the office finished for the day however when I get home I have to do some reading and pack my bag for tomorrow as I am currently undertaking a two year Foundation Degree in Dementia Studies at Worcester University. I am just starting my second year and whilst it is hard work some days ‘keeping all the balls in the air, I am thoroughly enjoying the learning and feel I am constantly developing as a practitioner as a result of my studies. My passion for enabling people to live well with Dementia constantly motivates me in my work and I am fortunate to belong to a team here at Coventry who are just as driven.

For more information on services offered by Alzheimer’s Society Coventry, please visit:

Alzheimer’s Society services in Coventry area

Plans are developing for a Bidford-on-Avon dementia cafe

On 16th September at 7pm, Bidford-on-Avon Health Centre held a talk on dementia led by Carole Zambonini  founder of the successful dementia cafe “Alcester Cafe”

The room was filled with around 60 people interested in dementia, how they could help within their local community and how Bidford-on-Avon could have a similar cafe to Alcester.

Carole started with a dementia friends session and went onto speak about her life as a carer to her mother and how Alcester Cafe was formed. She explained that Alcester Cafe is a one stop shop with support from Alzheimer’s, Age UK, CAB, WRAP and covers everything you need to know from power of attorney to information on different types of dementia. The cafe also helps with exercise, singing for memory and social sessions. It now has around 50 volunteers working on a rota and is open Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30-12.30 with everyone welcome. It is a drop in cafe so you can arrive any time during its opening hours and it is free of charge.

Dr Shackley, the senior partner at the Practice and other senior doctors were present and delighted with the presentation and very pleased with the number of people attending the Presentation.  They expressed their hope that together with the PPG they would be able to establish a similar provision to the Alcester Cafe in Bidford.  A venue had been identified and availability at times which did not clash with when Alcester Cafe was open.  There will be a meeting in November when it is hoped to get together all interested parties who are able to assist both practically and financially with a projected start date in January 2016.

If you want to find out more about the proposed cafe in Bidford, or would like to help, please contact Carole on 01789 488088.

£750 raised at a local Bulldog Bash to support a new dementia day care in Alcester


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At their breakfast meeting Rotary Club of Alcester Alauna president Alan Mathewman presented a cheque for £750, raised at the Bulldog Bash, to Carole Zambonini. The money will go towards the starting of a day care centre for dementia in Alcester. An additional £250 was given by Hells Angels representatives.

The day centre is a follow on from the successful memory cafe, Alcester Cafe, which runs Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30-12.30pm in Jubilee Hall. The day centre committee are trying to find a suitable site in Alcester to start looking after people with dementia and provide carers with some respite. If you want to find out more about the proposed day care or would like to help please contact Carole 01789 488088.

group no cheques

Local Residents supported Alcester Dementia Memory Walk this September …

This September, Memory Walks have been taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to raise money and awareness for a world without dementia. Thousands of people of all ages and abilities joined in, from grandparents to grandchildren and even furry four-legged friends. It was a time for everyone to come together and celebrate loved ones affected by dementia.

Alcester Dementia Memory Walk was supported  by the local community who took part on the 3 routes (short, medium and long) around Alcester on Sunday 20th September. Maps and directions were handed out to those taking part and, either before or after the walk, everyone was invited to a soup and sandwich lunch in Jubilee Hall.

Thanks go to those who helped with the walk organisation, food etc and to those who took part on the day.

Money raised is being put towards a dementia centre / day care facility in the town, the next stage on from the successful Alcester Cafe: Day care will provide dementia respite so needed in the area.

If you want to help with the dementia day care fundraising or would like more information about becoming a Dementia Friend please contact Carole or Roger Zambonini on 01789 488088.


Picture 1: starting the walk


Picture 2: four legged furry friends came along too!

Dementia Action Alliance Member Profile – Warwickshire Library and Information Service


My name is Deborah Hateley and I work for Warwickshire Libraries as Senior Librarian Priority Groups.

Warwickshire Libraries joined the Dementia Action Alliance in 2013, signing up to an action plan that we would endeavour to work towards. Libraries are a wonderful free community resource available for all and we were and are keen to ensure that all in our community are able to access the wealth that libraries offer. Our action plan would contain a focus on training, partnerships, events and promotions. And as a library of course, one area that we would want to look at would be the books that we could offer to support those with dementia, facing a diagnosis or those who may be looking for ways to support their loved ones.

Books are a superb tool to support the health and wellbeing of everyone in many ways – Reading for just 30 minutes a week can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing – ‘Quick Reads’ in partnership with Dr Josie Billington, ‘Reading Between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure’, 2015. Books can also be used to support those with dementia and those caring for them and offer a way of communicating with people who may now find it difficult to understand the world around them.

Back in 2011 Warwickshire Libraries launched a new service called Books on Prescription, a collection of high quality self-help books covering a range of commonly experienced mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and stress. The project was coordinated by a colleague, who developed links with a number of partners including Public Health, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT), Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and NHS Warwickshire. A further two collections aimed at children and young people, (Sorted!) and the parents and carers of young children (Mini Sorted!) were subsequently launched.

This collection contained four titles on dementia: ‘Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias’ by Nori Graham, ‘Living Your Best with Early Stage Alzheimer’s’ by Lisa Synder, ‘A Personal Guide to Living with Progressive Memory Loss’ by Sandy Burgener and ‘Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias’ by Harry Cayton. As with all the titles in the BoP collection these books were available to borrow straight off the shelves or be prescribed by a GP or Health Professional.

Earlier this year The Reading Agency launched the Reading Well Books on Prescription Dementia collection. This is a national list recommending books that people may find helpful if they have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or simply want to find out more about the condition. The collection is helpfully divided into four sections: information and advice, living well with dementia, support for relatives and personal stories. Warwickshire Libraries, along with other library authorities decided to purchase these collections to make them available to local library users. We were proud of the books we had in our original collection, but a new national collection encompassing 24 titles would give a much wider selection of choice and align us with both the regional and national offer. In the same way as the Warwickshire titles, books on this new national collection have been recommended by health professionals and selected using guidelines and quality standards for dementia care from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and other professional organisations.

Also included in the collections are Pictures to Share, a selection of illustrated books that help communicate with people with mid to late stage dementia as well as other brain injuries or stroke. Published by Pictures to Share, a community interest company set up by Helen Bate there are twelve titles already currently available in Warwickshire, bought as a result of a successful pilot project based in three Warwickshire care homes. Titles are available for loan from the larger libraries in Warwickshire as well as part of a longer term lending set aimed at care homes and day centres. They are a fantastic tool with a variety of photographs and pictures, both modern and vintage and including such topics as travelling, shopping, childhood days and a wonderfully titled ‘A Funny Old World’!

Reading Well Books on Prescription Dementia is available at our eight largest libraries; Atherstone, Bedworth, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stratford on Avon and Warwick, but can, like other lending books, be requested and collected from any Warwickshire Library. As with the previous Books on Prescription collection these titles can also be prescribed by a GP or Health Professional.

We’re really proud to be able to offer this collection of books and hope that they may make a difference to those who are affected by dementia in whichever way. We will shortly be increasing the number held in Warwickshire making them available at all council run libraries. Further information about Reading Well Books on Dementia as well as the other Bop collections can be found on the Warwickshire Libraries webpage Warwickshire Books on Prescription.

Joining the library is free and easy. If you are not already a member pop into your local library with one form of ID and a member of staff will join you up. Alternatively you can join online here Join Warwickshire Library. Library staff are there to help so if you need any assistance or have any questions just fire away!

For more details on this article please contact us on

Warwickshire celebrates the fourth global Alzheimer’s Month

Worlds Alzheimer's Month poster

September 2015 marks the fourth World’s Alzheimer’s Month.
The aim of the Month is to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, challenge stigma associated with the condition, and help people with dementia live well in their local communities.

A range of activities will be taking place around the county during September helping people to become more dementia aware, these are listed below:

September 11: Alcester Café Open Day, 10.30am – 12.30pm – with talks starting at 11am, Jubilee Hall, off St Faiths Road, Alcester, B49 6AG.

September 13: Draycote Water Park, 10.30am-3pm, With every step taken at Rugby Memory Walk, you will help change the lives of people affected by dementia – now and in the future. Register yourself or a team, and start fundraising today. Rugby Memory Walk takes play around the beautiful Draycote Water. There will be two routes both wheelchair and pushchair friendly – 1 mile and 5 miles. The Memory Walk is a sponsored walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. There will be refreshments, stalls and a raffle on the day, so come down and have a family day out!

September 18: Dementia Friends session, 10am -11am, Atherstone Library, Atherstone, CV9 1AX; Places can be booked on the Dementia Friends website

September 19: Dementia Advice drop in day, 10am-3pm, Anya Court Care Home, Rugby, 286 Dunchurch Rd, Rugby CV22 6HX; Places can be booked on the Dementia Friends website

September 19: Dementia Friends session, 2-3pm, Anya Court Care Home, Rugby, 286 Dunchurch Rd, Rugby CV22 6HX. Contact:

September 20: Bulkington Memory Walk, starting at 2pm, Bulkington Village Centre, Bulkington. Contact: Tony Robinson email for sponsorship forms, or phone (024) 76326177 for other enquiries.

September 20: Alcester: 3 walks to be held (walk 1: approx. 1 hour 15 mins – not suitable for prams, wheelchairs etc; walk 2 – approx. 30 mins; walk 3 under 15 mins; walks 2&3 suitable for all). Walks start at Jubilee Hall, off St Faiths Road, Alcester, B49 6AG. Contact: Carole or Roger 01789 488088.

In Warwickshire, according to latest estimates, there are 7,615 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the county by 2021. Most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes.

Show your support to helping people with dementia live well by taking part in one of the listed events or simply spreading the word to your family, friends or on social media to help others to understand the condition better.

For more information about dementia and support in Coventry and Warwickshire please visit the Dementia Portal on


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