The Carers Café Report

CarersProject Updates
Last updated on February 10, 2020

The second of Our Connected Neighbourhoods’ Conversation Cafés was held on October 3, 2019 at the Bellfield Centre in Stirling. The theme was Carers, Care and Caring Neighbourhoods, giving people a forum to discuss their experiences and identify what makes them feel connected to their neighbourhoods and, conversely, what issues erode these connections.

The café guests were split into two groups for the discussion, with dementia activist Agnes Houston MBE facilitating the group for people living with dementia and Linda Gill (Tide’s Carer Involvement Lead for Edinburgh, Lothian, The Borders and Dumfries and Galloway) doing likewise for the carers group.

As a quick aside, OCN would like to thank Agnes and Linda for their wonderful contribution to the event, as well as tipping our hat to artist Jason Nelson for providing us with the means to capture the conversations so vividly. Finally, thank you to Dave Budd and Richard Ward for writing up and editing the report (which you will find a link to at the bottom of the page).

Using paint-pens we stenciled the word STIRLING at the centre and DISCONNECTED in a semi-circle on one and CONNECTED on the other. Participants could use the paint-pens to write and draw on the sheets.

What we found

In both groups conversation centred around a number of core topics, including: respite support; the availability of suitable activities; awareness about dementia; and access to appropriate information based on an individual’s needs.

“You need a connected neighbourhood to make a difference, or at least try”.
Carers Conversation Café Participant

We have seen these topics becoming common sources of both connection and disconnection throughout the OCN project, shaping the work that we are doing, and the feedback from the Carers Conversation Café has further reinforced our programme of work for 2020.

Moving forwards

As a result of the café:

  • We have worked with Alzheimer Scotland and Town Break to provide co-located support groups for carers and people living with dementia, offering the opportunity for both meaningful activities and respite at the same time and in the same place.
  • A dementia service directory for Stirling is in development with the NHS Forth Valley Community Mental Health Team.
  • OCN partners are jointly working on a single point of referral for services in the Stirling area, which we will be piloting in 2020.
  • OCN will be facilitating local neighbourhood clusters of peer support for people affected by dementia.

There is plenty of other stuff in the pipeline, so please check back soon. In the meantime, if you would like to read the full report for the Carers Conversation Café, you can download a PDF version using the link below.