Work Programme 4: Introduction to our newest member of the SFVPN project

Hi, my name is Dave Budd. I am the new Integration and Inclusion Coordinator for the Stirling and Forth Valley Participatory Neighbourhoods project (SFVPN). Yes it’s a long name, a bit more about that later. This is the intervention stage of the Stirling field site for Work Package 4.

The project is an evidence-informed dementia-enabling community development project. We will listen to what people living with dementia want, assisting them to collaborate to create solutions in their own neighbourhoods, creating some helpful tools and resources along the way. Please see the previous newsletter for more detailed information on the aims and objectives of this exciting project over the next three years.

My background experience includes working in advocacy, involvement and inclusion, consultation, project development and management in mental health, epilepsy, older and younger people’s services and volunteering to name a few. Along with support from the project staff, volunteers and partner organisations I aim to use all my experience to engage and include people living with dementia across all the project strands and throughout the three phases.

Since starting in post on the 8th Jan I have been settling in well to the University of Stirling and its beautiful campus surroundings. There is a real spirit of partnership working and possibility here. My first few weeks have involved the usual new post induction and orientation activities. (Where to park the car and best places to forage for food, that kind of thing). I have met with colleagues directly and indirectly involved in the project. Everyone has been very welcoming.

We plan to use digital media, such as blogs and social media, as a way to connect people with what we are doing is an important theme running throughout the work. Our blog will be launching soon but for now you can find us on twitter at @InclusiveSFV

Over the next three years my role will focus on the meaningful involvement and inclusion of people living with dementia and the timely progression of the 3 project phases. In line with the wider ethos of the Neighbourhoods Programme people living with dementia will shape the work from the very beginning. This will be achieved by working in partnership with key organisations and services who specialise in supporting people living with dementia. I am currently in the process of drafting the involvement and promotional literature. I will then use the drafts, along with presentations, to consult with people living with dementia about the project and the accessibility and suitability of the literature. My aim is to try and use dementia-accessible information from the very beginning, starting with my business cards.

Phase One – Audit
We are starting with a pilot in North Stirling over the next 2 years. We intend to audit the community by interviewing people living with dementia. This will establish our initial connection with people living with dementia, and enable us to ‘plot’ naturally occurring clusters of people. The information gathered will inform the audits and workshops of the other strands which include:
• Community Using researchers and questionnaires
• Environment Using workshops
• Care homes Using an Arts and Inclusion approach supported by Artlink Central
• Online / Digital Using workshops

Phase two – Community Action and Education
Strands running throughout the work include:
• Support and services
• Education and community dialogue
• Evaluation (led by the University team), and
• Sustainability (supported through further fundraising)

Phase three
Rollout throughout the rest of Stirling and Forth Valley
I will go into some more detail about the phases in our next update.

One last important piece of news is that I will be looking at finding a shorter name for the project, as the current name might not be dementia friendly due to its length. I plan to consult with groups of people with dementia to check their thoughts on this and hear other suggestions.

I would like to say a big thank you to Dr Richard Ward and Lindsay Sibbald from the University of Stirling, Kevin Harrison at Artlink Central and all the staff and partners who have made my first few weeks so welcoming. I am really looking forward to updating you all on the exciting developments and how the work progresses.

Thanks for reading.

Dave Budd

David.Budd@stir.ac.uk