Information & Support Services

Dementia Friendly Keighley prides itself on providing a range of services that support people living with dementia throughout their journey. Availability of support at the different stages of dementia is vital to help people living with dementia be informed and able to choose services that best suit their needs.

The range of services also include signposting to partners, but the impact of COVID-19 and closure of our Information & Support Centre meant that the partnership had to adapt and find new ways of supporting people living with dementia.

Each of the summaries below provide you with a brief on what we did, why we did it, outcomes, learning points and what next. If delivered in partnership, we have listed the partners and added testimonies from people who have participated, delivered or volunteered at our Information & Support Centre.

1. Information & Support Centre
Information & Support Centre 
Learning PointsExtra
1. Information & Support Centre
Aim & SituationOutput
During lockdown and local restrictions, the Information & Support Centre had to close.

As restrictions have lifted, we are working to re-open the centre fully in line with national and local public health guidance.

Therefore, the centre is opening services step-by-step and providing office space for staff.
To provide a welcoming and safe Information & Support Centre for visitors.

To provide information, offer support, promote activities/services and signposting.

To provide a suitable work space for staff and volunteers.

Re-opening of the centre ensured:

  • Availability of safe space appointments prioritising those with greatest need
  • Daily provision of face-to-face support, information and signposting
  • We could provide continuity of support and a safe place to visit
  • An accessible (public transport/parking) central venue for people to visit and promote awareness
  • We could hand out more home based resources
  • Opportunities for volunteers could resume
Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • The restrictions only allow appointments, therefore we still can’t provide a drop-in service
  • Providing a regular cleaning schedule impacts amount of appointments we can offer
  • Securing volunteers to assist in the centre is proving more difficult since COVID-19
  • To continue the re-opening of all services, including the drop-in service
  • To utilise the centre space to deliver more activity and support groups
  • To provide safe space for all staff to return to the centre
The Airedale Shopping Centre. Click here to find out more about our partnership with the Airedale Shopping Centre

Partner Testimonial

Bev Burne – Dementia Connect Local Services Manager, West Yorkshire – From 2017 to 2019 there was a developing relationship between the two organisations. This relationship originated at the start of the development of Dementia Friendly Keighley when Bev Johnson, Dementia Adviser, was involved in speaking and facilitating at a Keighley wide event looking at developing community support for people affected by dementia…

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Partner Testimonial

Steve Seymour – Airedale Shopping Centre Manager – “Airedale Centre is in my view one of the most fortunate shopping Centre’s not only in the UK but across the whole shopping centre industry in having DFK as a Tenant and Partner and the essentail free services, advice and support it provides to our Customers and the area.

Not just in Keighley, anyone who knows someone with dementia knows only too well the daily challenges they face and whilst the various Government and National agencies are there to support they do not deliver at the personal level that DFK can and have done over the years…

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Partner Testimonial

Christine Gleave – Carers Resource – “A Carers’ Resource Locality Worker attended DFK for a morning on a monthly basis. This was a great opportunity to develop link between the two services. Carers would either drop in to, or have an appointment booked by either DFK or Carers’ Resource staff. Carers benefitted from being made aware of the other service, and having the opportunity of being directly referred from one to the other.

The venue is local , accessible and well known to carers, and so was an ideal place to meet people. Being part of the drop in meant that sometimes there were opportunities to speak to the carer independently as the person being cared for would chat with one of the DFK staff or volunteers. Prior to covid we were looking forward to using the new premises which has an additional room to provide additional privacy.

We look forward to being able to resume our drop ins in the coming months as restrictions ease.”

2. Phoneline & Texting Service

Aim & SituationOutput
This is a new service introduced due to the closure of our Information & Support Centre to provide other ways to communicate with the team.A daily phoneline was available for people to contact including people living with dementia, carers, volunteers, and partners. A texting service was offered so people could request a call back. DFK staff also created a call rota to ensure all current users of our services and volunteers received a wellbeing call.
This new service ensured:

  • Immediate continuation of support for people living with dementia and signposting to services.
  • Support for carers and volunteers during this stressful and worrying time
  • Up to date DFK activity and service information was shared amongst partners.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
Giving support over the phone when the caller is upset and distressed can be difficult.Due to the success of the phoneline and texting service, this will remain in operation after restrictions are lifted.

Carer Testimonial

Liz – Carer of a loved one living with dementia – “I accessed the phoneline during lockdown after the nurse signposted me to DFK. I care for my mum who is living with dementia and I wanted to talk to someone who could give me support.

I have spoken to other agencies but I found the support Helen gave me from DFK, was the most supportive. Helen listened, had empathy and I felt my feelings and concerns were understood – Helen simply got it.

Our calls were of great support to me and I was so thankful that I could simply pick up the phone when I needed to, and didn’t need an appointment. To have continuity of speaking to the same person was so calming as I didn’t feel I had to keep repeating my situation and concerns. Thank you.”

3. Appointments

Aim & SituationOutput
Providing appointments in the Information & Support Centre enabled DFK to open-up the centre as lockdown restrictions lifted. Due to safe distance and risk assessment, we were able to provide 1:1 appointment but not open the centre as a drop-in.Appointments made available for people living with dementia to visit the centre and get information, support, and help on matters that were urgent due to the lockdown and local restrictions of the past 12 months.
By having the appointments:

  • People able to get immediate support to talk through the strains of the past 12months and access to wider support
  • Enabled people to have face-to-face contact, which is important and easier for people living with dementia
  • Enabled DFK to welcome newly diagnosed people living with dementia to the service and explain what support is available
  • Enabled staff and volunteers to get back to some sort of normal.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
Introducing appointments were a big step forward but ensuring the centre was safe, cleaned and accessible took planning and careful thought as we didn’t want to lose the welcome feel of the centre.
Supporting staff and volunteers back to work after 12 months involved support, informal training and risk assessments.
We are keeping the appointments in place whilst restrictions are slowly lifted to ensure safety for both staff, volunteer and visitors.
This system also gives dedicated time to people with the appropriate staff.

Carer Testimonial

Jackie (Carer) and Peter – “Both Peter and I attended an appointment with Helen at the Information and Support Centre as I needed help as Peter’s dementia started to progress.

We have now seen Helen twice and she has been wonderful. I had got to the stage where I didn’t know what to do, become isolated in our home and had no support.

Louisa from our GP practice told us about Dementia Friendly Keighley and I am so glad for their help, they are angels. These little steps are helping so much and we now look forward to visiting the Memory Tree and starting the exercise class next.

Being able to do these things with Peter is wonderful and he looks forward to meeting the team and meeting other people living with dementia. Peter enjoys the 1:1 as well as groups and I get so much support too. I now feel supported and feel like I can get back out the house.

Dementia Friendly Keighley have been a lifeline and looking forward to meeting Nichola as she visits us in our home.”

4. Home & Garden Visits

Aim & SituationOutput
During lockdown and local restrictions, the Respite and Reminiscence Programme had to close. These sessions gave essential respite to the carer and provided a range of activities for people living with dementia.Providing Home & Garden visits to people who are struggling in lockdown and feeling isolated, to provide support, respite and companionship for those living with dementia and their carers. (following restriction guidance).
By providing Home & Gardens visits we were able to:

  • Reduce carer stress and reaching burnout
  • Reduce isolation
  • Ensure wellbeing checks continue
  • Identify needs and implement help e.g., shopping, falls prevention, OT referral and aids.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
Demand for this service continues as restrictions are lifted.
Demand for support outside of the home such as help to get to a group or activity.
This service has been developed into a Befriending service and funding gained to maintain this service longer term.

Carer Testimonial

Carer and Person Living with Dementia. – “Nichola visits us both at home on a weekly basis and we enjoy her company. She gave us information on other services and made referrals to fall prevention, occupational therapy and application for a blue badge.

Nichola’s visit makes us feel less isolated, we feel like we have someone to talk to and answer any questions.

We used to attend the centre on a weekly basis before COVID-19 and they have continued to help us throughout our dementia journey.

Carer Testimonial

Eric – Carer of a loved one living with dementia
“We have had visits in the home from DFK and they have been very useful and we have found out what is going on.

It was nice to talk to Nichola and the different things that are going on, apart from COVID-19. We looked forward to seeing Nichola as it broke up the week.

We enjoyed the home resources and the reassurance Nichola gives. DFK have helped us to speak to others in a similar situation.”

5. Training workshops with Health Professionals

Aim & SituationOutput
To increase professional understanding of the existing and additional challenges people living with dementia are faced with.Deliver on-line workshops to teams of health professionals to discuss the challenges of patients in the local community, encourage discussion and set new ways of working. The pilot will focus on the BAME community.
By attending the training:

  • Local health professionals have greater awareness of the challenges faced by patients.
  • Services adapted to help people access dementia services.
  • Strengthened partnership between DFK and health professionals.
  • People living with dementia better provision and access to services.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
We have received positive response form health professionals. But with the impact of COVID-19 on their time and workload, there needs to be flexibility in how these sessions are delivered. Each Programme will be planned around each group we work with.To continue work with other health professional group and in discussions to work with Commissioners and Care Homes.
Click here to find out more about our partnership with Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust
6. Supporting Volunteers Returning After Lockdown

Aim & SituationOutput
To provide information to volunteers about their role returning to sessions after the lockdown and opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns.Delivery of informal training sessions for volunteers to demonstrate new layouts and ways or working, expectations, available safety equipment and opportunity for volunteers to ask questions.
By delivering these sessions:

  • Volunteers felt confident and informed on what was expected of them.
  • Volunteers had the opportunity to opt-out for the time being
  • All aspects of safety were implemented and adhered to.
  • General public were assured they were safe to access our services.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • To not underestimate the impact of lockdown on volunteers availability
  • Implementing safety measures that may impact of service quality e.g., for people living with dementia speaking to someone in a face mask may feel confusing or if they rely on lip reading with impact on the ability to hear and understand.
A Volunteer Voice group has been set up to support volunteers going forward and they all have a dedicated staff member to support them.

Volunteer Testimonial

Liz – Volunteer – “The Group and Volunteer Support Worker role has made an impact supporting the volunteers. The Volunteer Voice group has been a good thing but not everyone could come. Often volunteers have felt a bit out on a limb and its been good to get reassurance, updates and support from Emma and the group. Its been good to see one another and have a chat across Zoom as otherwise this wouldn’t have happened through COVID as there would have been no one to facilitate it.

Zoom wasn’t really appropriate for people with dementia so now we are back doing it face to face and its starting to pick up.

I like the Volunteer Voice group being a regular meeting so everyone feels included.”

Volunteer Testimonial

Betty – Volunteer – “I volunteer at the Information and Support Centre and when we went in lockdown it had an impact on the volunteers and people who used to visit us.

People felt lost, people living with dementia didn’t understand why things couldn’t continue as normal and it was a time of sadness. When I

was asked to return to the centre as lockdown was lifted I felt a little unsure.

Helen and DFK delivered some training and information session which helped answer my concerns and the things they put in place made me feel confident about returning.

They talked about the changes to the session, appointment system, social distancing, cleaning and what equipment we had to wear. There was no pressure to return but the changes they put in place enabled me to return.

People come into the centre feeling stressed and the worry of the world on their shoulders, but they leave calm, informed and relieved. I am looking forward to the centre fully opening when people can just pop in.”

7. Social Media

Aim & SituationOutput
Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 and closing of groups, sessions and the centre, we needed to ensure we kept people up to date and informed. By extending our social media platform would enable us to reach more people on a regular basis.To post regular Facebook posts, increase usage of Twitter, set up a Instagram account, create a linktree page, increase press releases and utilise the google search engine to further our reach.
By recruiting a marketing and communications position, this:

  • Enabled us to keep people up to date on government guidance, local emergency support available and updates on the support DFK had available.
  • Enabled people living with dementia and volunteers to communicate with others and feel less isolated.
  • Provided Carers with vital support and information during times of crisis.
  • DFK have been able to share light-hearted content to help with the living in lockdown.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • Even though we increased our communication and provided up to date information, we also recognise that accessing social media is still a barrier for some.
  • To provide support for those who would like to join social media.
  • The need for a moderator is essential to maintain high standards and relevance of posts shared.
To secure additional funding for this role and maintain the regularity of posts and articles.
We work with a number of partners in terms of social media, these include Modality, Herncliffe and Springbank Care Homes, Memory Tree and Keighley Creative, and Local Press including Keighley News and ITV Calendar, all of whom we have a mutual understanding with in sharing relevant content.

Click the button below to read the detail of the increased social media platform.

Click the button below to view our social media figures before the DIP project started.

Linktree (left) – A service we’ve taken advantage of to list all of our most important links in one place.

Springbank Care Home (right) – After completing their Dementia Recognition Award, we worked with them to create a press release and also share across social media. (click to enlarge)


8. WhatsApp & Groups

Aim & SituationOutput
Due to the immediate closure of many of DFK services this had an impact on how we communicated and supported volunteers, staff and people who attended our social groups. To ensure we could keep in contact, get messages to those that did not have access to emails and a platform for people to share news or raise questions, we trialled using WhatsApp.With permissions gained and agreement that the groups would be used for mode of support and communication, we set up WhatsApp groups for:

  • Volunteers
  • Staff
  • Social Groups
This communication enabled:

  • People to keep in contact and feel less isolated
  • Information and messages to be shared and responded to quickly
  • Friends able to keep in contact and check if ok without having to visit homes
  • Group discussion and quizzes took place to raise mood
  • The set up and running costs are free.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
We found with support we were able to help people to access WhatsApp and found this easier to navigate than Zoom/Online videoing calling.Both the Volunteer and Staff group continues to operate.
The social group stopped as they now meet face-to-face.

Volunteer and Group Leader Testimonial

Bob Hutton – The Memory Tree and Volunteer – “Setting up the R&R whats app group in lockdown was a great help I think for all our members, carers and of course our lovely volunteers. The quiz is uploaded every Monday, Wednesday & Friday and is usually fairly easy as we want to keep people interested. It helps carers as they can chat at any time to each other. Connecting to others is a great release & helps people feel less isolated.”

Volunteer Testimonial

Maralyn – Volunteer – “Thank you for all your support, the Covid-19 lockdown’s have been awful. To make things worse during one lockdown I broke my wrist!”

I look forward to your weekly quiz and enjoy the questions. Thank you “

Volunteer Testimonial

Respite and Reminiscence Volunteer – “The WhatsApp group has helped me to feel connected during the pandemic. We have been kept up to date with information about service users and have had the opportunity to keep in touch with other volunteers. The quiz has been particularly enjoyable and I have shared this with friends and family.”

Volunteer Testimonial

April – Volunteer – “The WhatsApp group had given me routine, mental health wise during lockdown and I love the quizzes it gives my brain a cheerful workout and the togetherness when we chat on here when I’m alone.”

9. GP Texting Service

Aim & SituationOutput
To trial new ways of keeping in touch with people, as our services closed.To work with Modality Partnership (8 GP Practices) to send quarterly text messages to all patients promoting what services and support DFK offered. This was sent to all patients including those who already access our services, but to also inform those pending a diagnosis, gaining a diagnosis during lockdown and to inform all patients to share with family and friends.
By sending quarterly texts:

  • Newly diagnosed or those in early stages of memory problems were still able to access our support, therefore reducing anxiety and ensuring people are informed of all support services during lockdown.
  • Strengthened the referral route between DFK and GP Practices, which was quicker and easier for patients.
  • Due to delays of diagnostic appointments, DFK able to provide support to minimise worries and concerns.
  • DFK reached new people living with dementia that did not know DFK existed.
  • To all patients, we were able to create an awareness of DFK within the community.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
Cautious not to send too many.
Some patients though the text was sent incorrectly as they were not living with dementia, therefore further explanation about it being a general awareness text was needed occasionally.

The texting service will continue and highlight new services, activities, and events, whilst providing a general awareness.
Modality Partnership. Click here to find out more about our partnership with Modality Partnership.

Modality SMS Message – We work with Modality to get important information out to local patients. (click to enlarge)

10. Window Displays

Aim & SituationOutput
To trial new ways of keeping in touch with people, as our services closed.To provide window displays to keep the general public and service users up to date with services, activities and how to contact us whilst the centre is closed.
The Window display offered:

  • Up to date information to the local community on a weekly basis and as restrictions changed
  • Enabled service users to contact DFK for support
  • An accessible shop window situated in the town centre near the shopping and bus station.
  • Information to those who did not access social media

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
Consideration given to design, layout and font to ensure maximum exposure.The window displays will continue to be used and regularly updated on all aspects of DFK. To also create displays within the centre.
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