Integrated and inclusive communities in Cornwall

ContactKate Mitchell, Joint Programme Lead Long Term Conditions, NHS Kernow CCG
Telephone01209 886643 / 07825 521384
AddressThe Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5AS

This project aims to develop dementia friendly communities in Cornwall and to deliver community and hospital peer support alongside the provision of meaningful activities.

This project is an ambitious community based personalised approach bringing together a complex range of partners to make authentic and lasting change for people with dementia and their carers. We want to create vibrant, resilient and diverse communities. Our focus is building community resilience, social value and social capital; engaging and supporting people with dementia, together with their family and carers, to offer on‐going peer support and to engage actively with community led action. This approach will be adopted through innovative creation of dementia friendly communities, community and hospital peer support and provision of meaningful activities.

This project will support communities to act consciously towards people with dementia; to respect, to empower and to engage. We have support from a wide range of statutory, voluntary and private sector partners to make this happen and require pump prime funding as a catalyst to instigate momentum and mobilise change. Infrastructure costs can be shared and coordinated across the 3 project elements to create efficiencies of scale, shared resource and skill mix and a resilient and sustainable support system. Through this we add social capital rather than layers and create an infrastructure which we can build on, making it sustainable through integration and mainstreaming.

The key to this innovative approach is to integrate peer support for people with dementia across mainstream community based services whilst maintaining the specialist element of support. This would include linking in with current volunteer infrastructure such as Time Banks, GP volunteers, falls prevention and youth work to ensure they were ‘fit for dementia’. We would recruit, train and support volunteers across the whole of Cornwall in hospitals, memory cafés and in communities. We would also look to educate and train as many of the 140,000 existing volunteers as possible to become ‘champions’, associated to signposting and awareness raising (linked to HealthWatch) whilst still continuing their existing volunteering.


  • To have 9 dementia friendly communities across Cornwall by December 2014
  • To ensure people living with dementia have opportunities to contribute and participate in their neighbourhoods, supporting each other to live well with dementia
  • To offer befreinding for people with dementia in their homes and in hospitals
  • To offer opportunities for people with dementia to have meaningful activities in hospital
  • To create supportive networks across the coiunty of people living with dementia
  • To ensure we have a system in place to support people with dementia to access the right information and support at the right time

Anticipated outcomes

  • opportunities for people living with dementia to co‐design, deliver and evaluate peer support/learning, capacity building and local networking opportunities
  • opportunities for people living with dementia to become active citizens and peer leaders – to participate in meaningful roles and activities (eg befriender, trainer) to enhance their sense of worth/well being
  • sustainable, inclusive, participative communities and neighbourhoods where people living with dementia feel engaged, involved, independent and in control
  • equitable and consistent access to meaningful activities whilst in acute and community hospitals delivered by skilled volunteers and staff who are confident and competent to work with people with dementia causing reduced feelings of isolation, boredom and frustration in hospitals
  • equitable and supported access to a range of peer support activities such as befriending leading to increased confidence, sense of self worth, maintenance of skills and cognitive enhancement
  • improved public understanding of dementia, supporting communities to better identify people who may need extra support
  • dementia will become accepted in communities and stigma surrounding dementia and those who experience it will reduce
  • individuals will be supported to access the health and social care system
  • individuals will be supported to access personalised community and home based activities and support