We need your help to allow our Manchester services for people living with dementia and their carers to continue running into 2021.
Age Exchange has supported people living with dementia and their carers for over 38 years through reminiscence arts and wellbeing projects. Our Caring Together Service provides opportunities for wellbeing activities, arts, socialising and peer to peer support for 150 people living with dementia and their carers through 11 different groups in Blackheath, Lambeth and Manchester.
Age Exchange's EachStep club has been running at EachStep Blackley in Manchester since the end of March 2019.
The club normally offers 20 people living with dementia and their carers a four hour weekly group facilitated by two qualified Reminiscence Arts Practitioners.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, we took the difficult decision to close our dementia and carer support groups across the UK, as well as our hub to protect the people we support and our local community who frequently use our community hub, not for profit café and library based in London. The closure of the hub meant that we lost over £15,000 of vital funding for each month that we remained closed.
Virtual Day Care Service
We remodelled our dementia and carer support services in light of the pandemic through a virtual day care service. Our Virtual Day Care Service supports 238 people living with dementia and their carers throughout the UK with activity boxes, movement DVDs and wellbeing phone calls to improve wellbeing and reduce feelings of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown.
"Thank you for phoning, it's a lifeline, it keeps us going."
The virtual service seeks to temporarily replicate our Caring Together Service but is instead, delivered in their homes through activity boxes and DVDs posted to them, as well as support offered through phone calls. We will continue to provide these services for as long as the people we support need it.
We have already achieved so much;-
• Support through activity boxes to 238 people living with dementia and their carers.
• Support through our singing and movement DVDs to 106 people
• Over 7000 minutes of wellbeing phone calls.
The people we support who live in Manchester will continue to receive our virtual day care. From mid-October until the end of December our Reminiscence Arts Practitioners will be running one to one sessions for them over zoom or over the phone where zoom is not possible. During these sessions they will offer reminiscence arts and wellbeing activities to help to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia and their carers.
Ongoing restrictions in the regions of Liverpool and Manchester have made it very challenging to resume in person services.
But we will not fail the people we support and will continue to offer our virtual day care service for as long as our participants need it.
The club was initially funded by the Building Connections fund and has also received a small grant from I Love Manchester. However, this vital funding ends at the end of 2020.
We need your help to allow our Manchester services to continue running.
You can help our Virtual service to continue running from January-July 2021
20 people living with dementia and their carers will receive:-
- A weekly Telephone befriending call
- Two Signposting and information calls from project coordinator a month
- A monthly reminiscence arts activity box or singing and movement DVD
- A group zoom session led by a RAP (8 people max, 90mins) every week
- A one to one zoom session from a RAP where there needs are more complex and group sessions are difficult for them to participate in (Max 90 mins) every week.
- A one to one phone session every week with a RAP where digital technology is not suitable or available for them
You can help us to continue offering our face to face service from July 2020
If possible the virtual service would be replaced by a face to face service from July 2020. This would consist of a weekly two hour group run on the same grounds as the original EachStep club, offering opportunities for wellbeing activities, arts, socialising and peer to peer support
With your help, we can continue to provide a vital service for people living with dementia and their carers in Manchester who have experienced a significant blow to their wellbeing due to extended lockdown and coronavirus restrictions.