Herefordshire Dementia Voices

We’ve been remiss in not telling you about one of our current projects, so we thought we’d use this week’s blog to put that right!

First off, the Herefordshire Dementia Voices project isn’t actually a project we’re delivering. That’s being done by Dementia Matters Here(fordshire), and our role at the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) is to be a separate group sitting alongside the project to evaluate its effectiveness. Before saying what we’re doing, it probably makes sense to tell you a bit about the project itself.

Herefordshire Dementia Voices – a bit of background

People with dementia and their families have been some of the most adversely affected by the pandemic in terms of health and well-being and social isolation. With funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Dementia Matters Here are delivering the Herefordshire Dementia Voices project to put people with dementia in the lead and help identify what they need and want in terms of support, both in the light of the pandemic and moving forward.

The main aims of the project are:

  • To bring people together & build strong relationships in and across communities, and put people affected by dementia in the lead
    • Herefordshire needs a sustainable community focused dementia support service which meets the needs of all people affected by dementia in a largely rural area. Whilst there are a number of community initiatives they are largely disjointed, and the voices of people affected by dementia are not sufficiently heard.
  • To improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
    • This will include building more dementia friendly communities within the county, as at present there is only Dementia Friendly Leominster. One aspect of its work is engaging with over 50 local organisations and businesses to improve the environment and to raise awareness so that people feel safe when out and about.
  • To enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage
    • Getting the right support at the right time and early on can help people to live well in the community. By raising awareness around dementia, the project will hopefully reduce stigma, which should encourage people to seek support at an early stage.

It therefore has six main target outcomes:

  1. Finding the voices of people affected by dementia
  2. Hearing the voices of people affected by dementia to gather their views on what support is needed in the county
  3. Raising awareness of dementia in our community
  4. Getting the voices of people affected by dementia heard
  5. Creating a Community of Learning Practice
  6. Driving momentum and sustainability

Lots of activities are taking place to achieve these outcomes, and there are two currently in progress that you might like to get involved with.

  • If you are a person affected by dementia living in Herefordshire, there is a short survey you can complete to share your views about what support is needed within the county. What do you want to see? What would make a difference to you? You can find the survey here.
  • There is going to be a Dementia Festival on 24th October bringing together relevant groups and organisations (including ADS!), with the aim of providing information and support to people affected by dementia and helping them to know what is currently available in Herefordshire. A great networking opportunity, or a chance to come along and find out what’s going on. The flyer below has more details.
Flyer for the festival, the key details are: Monday 24th October 10am until 4pm, Saxon Hall, Hoarwithy Road, Hereford, HR2 6HE. Free admission. Refreshments, fun activities, crafts and lots more

Where does ADS fit?

We are going to be seeing to what extent the project outcomes are met, or in other words, we’ll be seeing to what extent the voices of people affected by dementia have been identified and heard as a result of the project. We’ll be undertaking different activities to do this, such as:

  • A survey of people who have been involved in the project – keep an eye out for further information if this is you!
  • Focus groups to explore how people have been involved in the project in a bit more detail.
  • Seeing what activities are taking place as part of the project and how they are being advertised.
  • Workshops to monitor progress against the project outcomes. The final workshop will be taking place 1st December, and you can find out more details via the following flyer.

If you would like to be involved in a focus group or workshops, or would like to be sent a copy of the survey (and you’re based in Herefordshire!), please contact

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


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