New funding programme to help develop dementia friendly communities
Stirling Council has launched a new funding programme to support the development of dementia-friendly communities across the region.
Local organisations can now bid to the newly established Challenge Fund to help them increase their capacity for Dementia Friendly activity and benefit people living with the disease, their carers and their families.
There are an estimated 1,650 people living with the condition in the Stirling Council area. That figure is expected to double over the next 20 years while Stirling’s increasing ageing population has also highlighted the need for the Council to adopt a new approach.
In partnership with the Dementia Friendly Stirling Group, and as part of the development of the Forth Valley dementia strategy, Stirling Council has developed an action plan to support people with dementia at all levels.
Increasing attention has been placed on not just clinical interventions which support people with dementia, but also on supportive communities, inclusive activities and environments.
Last year Stirling’s King’s Park became Scotland’s first-ever dementia-friendly park when a number of physical changes were made, including changes to the signage, the installation of new benches and a handrail installed in a steep section of the park’s path. An information leaflet with a map was also created to assist with wayfinding and decision making for people with dementia prior to visiting King’s Park.
As part of the latest step in the action plan, the Challenge Fund will seek to help make neighbourhoods dementia-friendly by offering support to new and existing community-based groups offering Dementia Friendly activities.
Convenor of the community planning and regeneration committee, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “Dementia is a growing problem in our ageing society and those living with dementia face huge day to day challenges. We need to develop ideas and services that encourage everybody to share responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.
“This fund is a great step as we strive to become dementia friendly across all of Stirling’s communities. I would encourage organisations to consider whether this fund could help them expand existing programmes or develop new ones to help improve lives and if you’ve got a great idea, let’s hear it and together we can deliver the improvements we need to see across Stirling.”
Vice convenor, Councillor Maureen Bennison, said: “As a council we want to ensure that people with dementia and their families can continue to participate and engage in their neighbourhood, community and city by making key changes to the fabric of Stirling.
“A number of councillors and council staff have completed the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Friends programme where we learned that it is possible to live well with dementia, but it is about turning that understanding into action.
“This new Challenge Fund will help local organisations throughout Stirling support the development of sustainable dementia-friendly communities.”
The application process will close on August 21 at Noon. Interested organisations are encouraged to bid and should register their organisation as a supplier via www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk.
Questions about the process should be raised using the portal by August 14 at Noon.