Social Activity & Groups

Ever since the start of Dementia Friendly Keighley, we have always focussed our time delivering suitable and supportive activity groups for people living with dementia.  We know the importance of such groups which provide regular contact, opportunities to discuss issues, feel supported in a safe environment, and meeting with people in a similar situation.

COVID-19 put a stop to many of our groups due to lockdown and local restrictions.  The Dementia Inequalities Partnership allowed DFK and its partners to review the provision and make adaptations or introduce new activities to ensure we could support people living with dementia through these periods of restrictions and as the restrictions are lifted.

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.

1. Information & Support Centre
Information & Support Centre 
Learning PointsExtra
1. Online Activity Groups & Zoom Meetings

Aim & SituationOutput
Due to COVID-19, we had to close our regular groups and activities. To ensure we could continue some of the groups for people living with dementia, carers, and volunteers, we set up online groups.We set a range of online groups for people living with dementia, carers, and volunteers:

  • Seated Exercise
  • Tai Chi
  • Brown Cow Social Group
  • Team Meetings
  • Volunteer Support Group
  • Art Group
By enabling the groups to continue, we were able to:

  • Reduce feelings of isolation
  • Stay active both physically and mentally
  • Continuation of support
  • Providing wellbeing checks for people living with dementia, carers, volunteers, and staff.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • Online provision is not accessible for all.
  • We found offering a step-to-step guide to get online helped some people to access the groups.
  • People living with dementia find using online groups confusing.
  • Taking part in exercise groups in the home bring problems such as space to complete the exercise, tutor not being able to correct exercise technique and difficult to see exercises on a small screen.
  • As we start to come out of lockdown some of the online groups are moving back to face-to-face.
  • The team meetings are staying online whilst we have number restrictions in the office.


Volunteer Testimonial

Betty – Volunteer – “I volunteer at the seated exercise group and enjoy taking part. I helped at the face to face and online sessions. Unfortunately the participant numbers fell during the online sessions as people couldn’t get online or for the person living with dementia found it confusing. The tutor Janice, is great with the participants and we have a fun time. We all benefit from the class as participants, volunteers and carers”

2. Tai Chi
Aim & SituationOutput
Regular Tai Chi had to stop due to lockdown but this was a popular and greatly beneficial class for people living with dementia, carers and volunteers.To deliver the sessions online and as restrictions lifted to deliver outdoor Tai Chi Wellbeing Walks.
These sessions provided:

  • exercise and interaction for those who attended
  • routine and structure to the week
  • time to listen, take part in exercises and lift mood
  • a break for carers and volunteers to enjoy participation
Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • For people living with dementia taking part in tai chi online was difficult and confusing, particularly if they had a small screen
  • Tai Chi Wellbeing Walks were piloted but due to bad weather and further restrictions they had to stop
Tai chi has now started face-to-face in line with social distancing and numbers are picking up.

Tutor Testimonial

Phil and Helen – Discover Tai Chi – “We met Maggie from DFK at a free taster at local GP practice and she immediately wanted to see if we would offer our tai chi sessions for people and their carers living with dementia…

Read More

Volunteer Testimonial

Michelle – Volunteer – “I am a volunteer at the DFK Tai Chi and attended before lockdown and now it has returned to face-to-face…

Read More

Partner Testimonial

Susan Querstret – Activity Coordinator – Norwood House Nursing Home – I am the activity coordinator at Norwood House Nursing Home in Keighley. I would just like to let you know how wonderful it has been for us to connect with Dementia Friendly Keighley…

Read More
Tai Chi – A Walk in the Park Press Release (click to open)
3. Brown Cow Social Group
Aim & SituationOutput
The social group had to close due to lockdown and this group offered much need to support to both carers and those living with dementia.To move the social group to a online group to maintain support and continuity.
By moving the session online:

  • Enabled to the group to keep meeting
  • Enabled carers to et that much needed support during extra pressures of lockdown
Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • People living with dementia struggled with online sessions as it caused confusion
  • For some carers, it caused added stress as their loved one got confused and unsettled
The group is now meeting face-to-face

Volunteer & Carer Testimonial

Dawn – Volunteer & Carer – “I’ve been at the group from the beginning and watched it grow. The Brown Cow pub is an ideal place as there is no music or TV to drown out any conversation and the customers and staff are all very friendly and make people feel welcome. The people who attend the group are of all ages and not just the older end…

Read More
4. Radio
Aim & SituationOutput
As our groups and activities closed due to COVID-19 and local restrictions we wanted to provide additional ways of communicating and supporting our families.we are working with local radio stations to provide regular shows which focus on music from the decades, local events/history and nostalgia. To also promote Dementia Communities services an activities.
By providing the regular shows:

  • Enables people living with dementia to enjoy shows and evoke memories from time gone by
  • Respite for carers whilst the person living with dementia listens to the show
  • Sharing of local news, local history and sharing of favourite music
  • An opportunity to get up and dance or have a sing-along
  • Creates awareness of dementia services and dementia itself to the wider listeners
Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
By providing the regular shows:

  • Bradford Community Broadcasting (BCB)
  • Keighley on Aire
  • Rombalds Radio
  • Drystone Radio
  • Local Dementia Communities
5. Care Home Support
Aim & SituationOutput
The impact on care homes was devastating when COVID-19 and local restrictions were introduced, and this had a great impact on families too.To provide a zoom room and support to help residents communicate with their families and loved ones.
The Zoom Room enabled:

  • Residents to talk and see their families and visits had been stopped
  • Helped families to see their loved ones after months of no contact
Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • The success of this provision was down to the commitment and support of care home staff to set it up, arrange meetings and support the residents. Without this it would not work.
  • For people living with dementia using online services can cause confusion
The zoom room will remain and it now used to access appointments and other activities
Click here to find out more about our partnership with Herncliffe Care Home

Dementia Friendly Keighley published a press release informing of their partnership with Herncliffe Care Home on the introduction of the Zoom Room

Press Release (click to open)

Partner Testimonial

Mary Harrison – Registered Manager – Herncliffe Care Home – When we went into lockdown in March 2020, we knew that this would have a significant impact on the residents and their loved ones. The home has always welcomed visiting at any time and was a vibrant and busy place prior to the pandemic…

Read More (click to open)
6. Dementia, Voice of Experience Group

Aim & SituationOutput
DFK wanted to have a group of people who could offer a critical friend role to the development and future of DFK.Dementia; Voice of Experience group has been set up of people who have had experience of caring for someone living with dementia.
This group is in its early stages and invitations and promotion of the group will start once further restrictions have been lifted.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
Due to restrictions, carers that would like to join have not been able to secure respite for their loved one.As the group develops and restrictions are lifted other agencies will be invited and the group to take part in campaigns.

Volunteer Testimonial

Rod Tickner – Volunteer and Founder Member of DFK – “When a diagnosis of dementia is given some may be unwilling to admit the fact. There is a sense of loss and the need for adjustment that needs help to chart you through the changes, some unwelcome, as the illness develops…

Read More
7. Volunteer Voice Group

Aim & SituationOutput
DFK wanted to provide regular support for their volunteers and have a link person to co-ordinate the volunteers.To recruit a Volunteer and Group Support Worker and set up Volunteer Support Group, (initially virtually).
The Support Worker and Volunteer Voice group works well for volunteers to:

  • Connect and support each other.
  • Get up to date information straight from the Support Worker
  • Feel part of DFK and know whats going on
  • Come together as a group.

Learning PointsWhat’s Next?
  • Virtual groups don’t suit everyone, some people don’t have internet or the technology or want to use it.
  • Face to face is a better medium to get more people together.
  • To secure funding to secure the Support Worker Post.
  • To move the Volunteer Voice Group to face-to-face.
  • To invite guest speakers to support volunteers.
  • To provide up to date training for volunteers.

Volunteer Testimonial

Vicky – Volunteer – “The Group and Volunteer Support Worker role has been needed for a long time and I’ve always wanted someone to be able to go to that would interact with the volunteers, keep us up to date, advice to support volunteers and if not, what could we do instead.

Before this role we used to get snippets off different people but I like us being a family so we can all help each other and stand in for each other.

We know we can come to Emma either over the phone or pop in to the centre, as Emma knows the details. Its good to have someone to come to, to discuss things. Feel like we have someone to pitch for us.

With COVID we haven’t been able to do things we would normally do such as fundraising, as this is a big part of my volunteer role with DFK. I haven’t been able to be involved in the Volunteer Voice Meetings on Zoom because I don’t have the internet but Emma calls me before the meeting to see what I want to input, she then takes notes which she sends out to the volunteers and one of the other volunteers prints them out for me (Emma did offer to do this). Even though I don’t have the internet I don’t feel left out as Emma keeps me involved. As the restrictions have relaxed a bit I have managed to go into the office a few times to see Emma so I feel included in everything DFK does.

I like the idea that Emma has suggested that we do the volunteer voice meeting every 8 weeks face to face.”

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