Mapping Assets for People Living with Dementia in Malvern

Back in December 2019 the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) ran two workshops to map community assets in the Malvern area (Worcestershire). The workshops were hosted by Friends of the Elderly and were attended by 25 people.

What is asset mapping?

Rather than focusing on problems and deficiencies, asset mapping works on the assumption that communities have a range of valuable assets, relationships and networks. These could be:

  • Individuals, including families, residents and community members who have experience, time and money
  • Associations such as self-help groups and community organisations, which have networks, buildings and influence
  • Organisations that commission and provide public services and businesses, which have money, services and land

During the asset mapping workshops, participants were asked to write down all of the assets they could think of on sticky notes, and stick them on a large map of Malvern. The main categories used to identify assets were:

  • Services and support for people affected by dementia
  • Physical assets (e.g. resources, equipment, spaces, places)
  • People assets (e.g. skills, abilities, knowledges)
  • Activities in Malvern for those affected by dementia

Map covered in sticky notes

What was the aim of the workshops?

Beyond identifying all of the assets within the Malvern area, the workshops had several aims to actually put this information into practice:

  • Improve quality of life for people affected by dementia by focusing on the skills, knowledge and potential within the local community
  • Explore what works well and how resources can be shared and developed
  • Promote better working and complement what is already on offer by identifying gaps in provision and potential partners
  • Consider how Friends of the Elderly could use their assets to support people living with dementia and the wider community

What did the workshops find?

Members of ADS took away all of the information generated from the workshops and turned it into a coherent picture of the assets available in Malvern.

In total, 73 assets covering the Malvern area were identified during the workshops. 50 were ‘physical’ assets, such as services, centres or businesses which are accessed by visiting a physical base. 23 were ‘community-wide’ assets, services which are available locally but without a physical base.

Discussions also identified specific gaps in services, including help and advice, a local Admiral Nurse, out of hours support services, carer support, support for people with young onset dementia, activities for men living with dementia, and intergenerational activities. Suggestions were made regarding how Friends of the Elderly could help to address some of these gaps or make their existing services available for people in the wider community.

Person drawing on a map

How can I find out more about the assets?

To make it easier to see all of the assets, the findings were converted into an interactive map of Malvern. This map allows you to zoom in and out and click on each asset to see additional details.

Colour-coding has also been used to distinguish between different types of asset:

  • Purple – health/care service
  • Green – sport/leisure
  • Blue – community services
  • Orange – churches
  • Brown – businesses

Image of the interactive map

What did the participants think of the workshops?

The asset mapping workshops were very positive and successful events. Participants found the asset mapping process an interesting and positive experience, saying that they were surprised how many assets had been identified fairly easily.

An added bonus for some participants was that it gave them the opportunity to find out more about Friends of the Elderly and their site in Malvern, being the first visit for some participants.

What next?

The information captured from the asset mapping exercise will be used by Friends of the Elderly to explore options for quick wins and long-term plans, all of which will require partnership working and connecting with local community groups. Ongoing engagement with the local Dementia Action Alliance will also be key.

In addition to the interactive map, other options for sharing information about local assets are being explored.

But I don’t live near Malvern…

While these two workshops focused on Malvern, the asset mapping process could be used in a variety of locations to tailor the findings to specific areas. If you would like to discuss asset mapping with us and see how we could support you to do something similar in your area, facilitate workshops for you, or help you develop plans based on the outcomes from an asset mapping activity, please contact us at

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow

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