DFEL: Report of the DFEL Annual Gathering  2018
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DFEL: Report of our Annual Gathering 2018

"We all live with dementia."  Anon

Hello! Welcome to the latest newsletter which reports on the Annual Gathering last month. 

But first a special request. We want to extend our Designs for Life project across East Lothian, providing training and advice to carers and people with dementia on how to use colour and design to manage life with dementia.  Please vote for us for the Aviva Community Fund. You get 10 votes. We've had great feedback and you can read more in our blog.

Please vote! Here's the link: VOTE HERE PLEASE!!

The DFEL Annual Gathering set our priorities for the next year and started a conversation about Meeting Centres.  Dr Shirley Evans from the Meeting Centre Support Programme, University of Worcester, joined us for the 2 days.

We had a fantastic  time and the big messages from us are:

  • We work hard to live well with dementia - staying active and positive.
  • We want to stay connected to our communities.
  • We want to speak openly about dementia and challenge stigma.
  • Spending time with people ‘in the same boat’ provides friendship and helps us adapt to and live well with dementia.
  • Services should support us all through our lives, not just for a year after diagnosis. For example, supporting family relationships and transitions.
  • We are all different and need different types and levels of support.
  • We need open communication and better access to information. 

We were inspired again by Agnes Houston and the Dementia Alumni, and many thanks to Paul (DEEP), Beau (TIDE) and Sandra and Stuart (East Lothian Council) for making it all work.

Meeting Centres are a local resource, run in ordinary community buildings. They provide warm and friendly expert support to people living at home with dementia. At the heart is a social club where people have fun, friendship and great help. 

Meeting Centres can help people with dementia and their families adjust to and manage life with dementia, feel more positive and connected. Centres help people stay active and help them manage the cognitive, emotional and social challenges of living with dementia, providing accessible support and information at a local level.  See more here"

There was a lot of interest in the general approach. It fitted well with what is already happening.  We recommend that:

  • People with dementia and carers must be at the heart of discussions.
  • They must feel respected, part of the community and have choices.
  • Conversations must be inclusive and led by communities.
  • We must respect and make good use of the diversity of our communities.
  • The outcome doesn’t have to be a Meeting Centre
  • Centres should be for all, not just ‘key stages’. 
  • Communities must challenge negative attitudes to dementia.
  • We must build on what is already happening, using our assets wisely.
  • We must not duplicate or undermine what is already in place. 
  • What we create must be sustainable, accessible and continually improve.

If you want a full report of the event, please get in touch.

What next? We're working with Area Partnerships and the Health and Social Care Partnership to support community conversations about Meeting Centres.  Dr Shirley Evans from the Meeting Centre Support Programme will run a one-day workshop for interested community group in  mid March 2019.

If you’re interested in setting up a Meeting Centre in your community you're invited to join us: 

  • Haddington, Tuesday 4th December, The Maitlandfield House Hotel, 10.30 - 12 noon
  • North Berwick, Tuesday 4th December, Hope Rooms, Forth Street, 2.00 - 3.30pm
  • Musselburgh, Wednesday 12th December, Fisherrow Community Centre, 2.30 - 4pm
  • Dunbar, Friday 21st December, Function Room, Royal Mackintosh Hotel, 10.30 - 12pm

If you'd like a discussion in your community, please get in touch. 

Dates for your diary:  Free training (thanks to East Lothian CLD)

Dementia: Living Not Existing. Find out more about dementia, and its impact on daily life.  7th November, 6.30 - 8.30. Musselburgh East Learning Centre.

Carer Friendly Communities. Learn about the important role that family carers play and talk about how we can make our communities more supportive of carers. 12.30 - 15.30. Pennypit Centre, Prestonpans.

Thanks for all your support and all the work you do to make East Lothian a very special place. Please get in touch if you're interested in our work or dementia, want to find out more, or want to chat.



E mail:
Phone: 07727 883 881 or 01620 895 571
Write: 29, Williamstone Court, North Berwick, EH39 4RQ


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Dementia Friendly East Lothian · 29 Williamstone Court · North Berwick, East Lothian EH39 4RQ · United Kingdom

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