We have been developing this project to establish a peer support group and secure it’s continuance as a sustainable support group for adults involved with dementia care.
We were able to draw from our caseload and we had a waiting list within a week of sending invites out. We liaised with our referral partners , the North Yorkshire Dementia Collaborative and through this we were able to promote the group.
The group rapidly took on its own identity – members of the Peer Group know that they can miss a session and still be very much part of the group. Clear ground rules created by the group are kept to and every member is given the opportunity and encouraged to join in the general conversation. Everyone feels valued and part of the group. New members are warmly welcomed and included.
The group is very much continuing – they have agreed dates for the rest of 2018 – meeting on the Third Wednesday of every month. The Carers Centre continues to support the event with specific team member attending whenever possible and assisting with finding speakers, and helping with the smooth running of the even. The counsellor continues to support as a volunteer.
The success of the group and the positive evaluation received has given us evidence to set up a second group in Stokesley in partnership with Stokesley Voluntary Service. The model has been further developed to include the cared for being offered activities at the same time.
A film producer (Alan Fentiman) created a film for our website in which carers talked about caring for someone with Dementia and the film also promoted the group.