The group was formed in November 2016 with the aim of making Keynsham and Saltford more dementia friendly. The three main aims are:
- education – to provide information to groups and organisations
- direct action – running events and activities to benefit those affected by dementia along with their families
- influence – identifying issues and barriers that affect the lives of those living with dementia so we might influence and improve matters
In May 2017 we started running monthly Music for the Mind sessions at St Dunstan’s Church Hall in Keynsham. Due to popular demand we extended these sessions to twice monthly from October 2017 on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 10.30 until 12.15. Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits are provided and it is all free of charge. There is plenty of free parking on site.
The name of the group has recently changed from the Keynsham Dementia Action Alliance to the Keynsham & Saltford Dementia Action Alliance. There are 7 people on the steering group (that meet regularly and all meetings are recorded):
- June Brassington – Chair
- Merrial Knight – Secretary
- Mike Knight – Treasurer
- Sue Stevens
- Sue Norton
- Tim Blowers – IT Specialist
Members of the steering group have been trained by the Alzheimer’s Society as Dementia Champions. This enables us to give talks on their behalf to groups and organisations so people have a better understanding of dementia and how it affects those living with dementia and their families and friends. We encourage them to become dementia friends and help to spread the word and be conscious of how we can all try and help those with dementia.
During 2018 the Keynsham DAA was granted the status of Working Towards Dementia Friendly Communities. We became the 302nd town in the UK to achieve this accolade. We are now linking up with businesses and organisations in Keynsham and Saltford to see how together we can make our community more dementia friendly.
At our February meeting it was agreed that the name of the group would change to be the Keynsham and Saltford Dementia Action Alliance.
We recently applied to be registered as a charity and we heard in January 2019 that we had been successful. This will now help us to plan better for the future of the group. It will open up more opportunities to apply for grants so that we can continue to provide all our services free of charge.
In order to satisfy the requirements of the Charity Commission, we have set up a Board of Trustees who will be responsible for overseeing the finances of the group. They meet twice a year to discuss the financial arrangements of the group. One of the requirements is that an annual financial report must be sent to the Charity Commission outlining the income and expenditure of the group.
The Board of Trustees consists of Mike Knight (Chair), Judith Lynn, Sue Stevens and Tim Blowers who are all on the steering group, plus Liz Edwards who is one of our excellent group of volunteers.