created by Rachel Hogg published on 22 June 2016

What did we do?

Hartlepool and Stockton developed their own schedules for events which were promoted widely via organisational networks, websites, social media, local press and local authority information directories.  Programmes and pin badges to mark the event were provided through sponsorship from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Stockton Better Care Fund, Tilley Bailey and Irvine and Clevearc.

Both localities launched the week with a special event.  In Stockton on Tees, Groundworks North East led a "Wild Food Walk" in the grounds of Preston Hall Museum followed by refreshments in the Winter Garden.  All participants reported back that they enjoyed the beautiful, fascinating and informative walk in good company with an excellent guide.

In Hartlepool, the council's Sport and Recreation Team, led on a "Move A Memory Mile" event, with walks for different abilities along Seaton Carew promenade, with refreshments and music by The Seatones provided in the Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club.  Feedback reported the combination of a walk, music and food was great, although it was a shame about the weather.  The event, as well as raising awareness, also raised money for the Dementia Friendly Hartlepool Project.

Information and Dementia Friends sessions were available in the week at the following Hartlepool venues:

  • The Bridge, Villiers Street
  • Functional Fitness and Information Session
  • Brierton Sports Centre
  • Middleton Grange Shopping Centre
  • Schools and libraries
  • Nordic Walking and Information Session
  • Summerhill
  • University Hospital of Hartlepool
  • Borough Hall
  • Portal's Cafe
  • Tesco Extra - Busking activity
  • Hartlepool United Football Club
  • Local food and retail units

Throughout the week, information on all things relating to dementia was available at sites across both localities, supported by collaborative partners, such as the community mental health teams, Alzheimer's Society, The Bridge, The LiveWell Hub, The Dementia Voice Project, local librarians and other agencies supporting people to live well with dementia.  St Joseph's Asylum Seeker and Refugee drop-in session was provided with information in key languages.

Information and Dementia Freinds sessions were available in the week at the following Stockton on Tees venues:

  • The LiveWell Hub
  • Schools and Libraries
  • Arc
  • Groundworks, planting and cooking session at a Thornaby allotment.
  • University Hospital of North Tees
  • Wellington Square - Busking Activity
  • Tees Active
  • Local food and retail units

Delirium Awareness

During the week, a new delirium awareness film was launched in Stockton on Tees and Hartlepool by Liaison Psychiatry staff.  Please view the short film at:  Delirium is common in people who are frail or have dementia and there is a plan to hold a workshop later in the year to explore rolling out a number of resources to improve the early detection of delirium across all care homes in the Tees area.

Raising awareness with families, including young children

Stockton libraries staff were active throughout the week and delivered dementia awareness sessions to 11 schools and around 700+ young pupils.

Rosebrook school choir went to Roseworth Lodge Care Home to sing to the residents.  They also held a fundraising day and encouraged children to come to school dressed up as older people.  The event raised £225.00 for local dementia charity, Clevearc.

In Hartlepool, librarians delivered 9 sessions of Stories and Rhymes for the under 5's and delivered a 'Remember When' session and reminiscence activities, which were attendend by 73 adults accompanied by 75 children.  Feedback from the event was that stories, photographs and objects stimulated lots of interesting conversations.  People generally thought it was a good idea to help children understand memory problems whilst having fun, particularly if they have family members with dementia.

Awareness sessions have also been offered to teaching staff, governors and parents.

Trip to Beamish Museum

The Bridge, Hartlepool and Fusion Cafe, Stockton in conjunction with local agencies, supported 80 people to visit Beamish Museum, at a discounted rate.  A highlight of the day trip was a free concert provided by Music in Hospitals, in the pit village band hall, which demonstrated the joy music can bring to people living with dementia.

For many the trip brought back good memories of times past, the taste of fish and chips from old coal fired fryers, the chance to stroke a pit pony or send an old fashioned postcard back home.  The trip also raised £182 for Dementia Friendly Hartlepool funds.

Other activities

Musical activity also took place on the Holdforth Unit at the  University Hospital of Hartlepool.  Portals Place held a dementia cafe and plan for this to be a regular activity.  Hospital of God hosted their regular Memory Lane Cafe in Billingham during the week.  All received excellent feedback.  Creative Age brought in artistes to work with people living with a dementia and their art work was displayed in Arc, Stockton.  In Hartlepool, the Creative Cafe and local care homes supported people to create art work that was displayed in a number of venues throughout the Borough.

Touch Screen Technology sessions were offered to people living with dementia in the LiveWell Hub, Stockton, facilitated by volunteers from the Digital Experts project and in Hartlepool at The Bridge and Hartfields by Incontrol-able.

Hartfields Retirement Village also used the week for the official opening of their new memory parlour "Sea View", furnished with donated memorabilia from years gone by and held a nostalgia cafe.

Celebration Event

At the end of the week, The Borough Hall at The Headland was the scene of a celebration event arranged by the Sports and Recreation Team.  The 160 attendees, were supported by many other local agencies as the members of the Dementia Friendly Hartlepool Project, Historic Hartlepool, Approach Training Safely, Territorial Army, Carewatch, Incontrol-able and Hartlepool Public Health.  An excellent buffet was provided by Tesco and Greggs.

The Seatones opened and closed the Hartlepool week's events and Ronnie Khoja, dance instructor led the social dancing, in the Borough Hall.  A red post box was used to collect the feedback from this event which overall was extremely positive and thought to be well organised, well presented and overall excellent with good food and good music.  It was a community event that brought back many happy times for a lot of local people.  There were many requests for this to be repeated and the hope is that this will happen in he next few months.  Watch this space.

Fundraising for Dementia Friendly Hartlepool

During the week, housing schemes such as Banburgh Court, Albany Court, Richard Court, Laurel Gardens and Hartfields got involved in the awareness and fund raising activity.

Busking activity in the foyer of Tesco raised £140 and with all the other fund raising activity highlighted above the total to date is around £1152.

Thank You to all involved

The North of Tees Dementia Collaborative would like to thank everyone in the local communities who gave their time during Dementia Awareness Week, such as local service users and carers, members of the public, local schools and nurseries, care homes, businesses, shops, supermarkets, voluntary organisations.  Due to the number of multi-agency events, we are mindful of people who may not have been mentioned and contributed to the week.  Your input is much appreciated.

What is happening next:

The multi-agency membership of the collaborative will continue to meet to plan other community awareness events throughout the year such as Carers Week, World Alzheimer's Day, International Older People's Day and World Mental Health Day.  We will use the learning and feedback from Dementia Awareness week to plan activity that has the most appeal to local communities.

The local Dementia Friendly Stockton and Dementia Friendly Hartlepool projects are working hard to try to ensure people living with dementia can remain active and included members of their local communities.  It is vital that local communities, including businesses, understand the impact of dementia and are supportive.  This can involve holding local dementia friend sessions or taking small low cost steps, to make local organisations more accessible to people living with a dementia.

If you are interested in joining the local dementia friendly community projects please find more information at:

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