This report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation explores the learning from the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP), a national network that engages and empowers people with dementia to influence the services and policies that affect them.
The report sets out the work and achievements of DEEP over the past three years, and the priorities for developing this network into a strong user movement of people with dementia. It provides reflections on the process of creating a national network of people with dementia as well as some practical suggestions about setting up local involvement groups.
The report outlines that DEEP has been about inspiration, shared ambitions for wide social change and inordinate local successes in influencing services, strategies, community developments and raising awareness. People with dementia talk about being part of their local involvement group as a job, a role, something that gives them a sense of purpose. People with dementia support each other to gain confidence within their group, and groups are gaining confidence in their influencing work as they connect with other like minded groups.
The report also states that on the national stage, organisations and bodies have seen the relevance of DEEP in increasing the diversity of views and voices that they include in their involvement processes.