Wellbeing Exeter is a partnership of public, voluntary and community sector organisations who have come together to explore better ways of supporting the 40% of patients who visit their GP with socially based rather than medical problems.
Gina Awad said “Wellbeing Exeter is a vital collaboration of sectors in the city and with the essential integration of Social prescribing at the core it felt like a natural progression for them to join us as a member of the alliance. First steps was to deliver a Dementia Friends session for the Community Builders & Connectors and create a simple aspirational action plan. This will support our collaborative vision of working towards a Dementia Friendly Exeter. Simple actions may include wearing their Dementia Friends badges which often generate a talking point in the community as well as future in-depth dementia training in the future. As we know knowledge is power and having an understanding of dementia for those living with it and their care partners is crucial. Being able to share the community support and resources available locally is a key element to their roles”.
One attendee said “I was surprised to hear that around 40,000 people live with dementia and are under 65. I assumed it only affected older people, it really made me think and want to learn more”.
Most attendees had not heard of ‘John’s Campaign’ where the majority of Hospital Trusts across the UK have signed up permitting visiting to families of those living with dementia at any time as a collaborative to support their overall wellbeing. Gina explained how the importance of a holistic approach is vital especially when disorientation and change can be a key factor for some who live with dementia. Changing environments can be frightening experiences.
Ella, Wellbeing Exeter Coordinator explained “Connectors and Builders are embedded in the local community meeting people living with dementia and their carers daily. Gina’s explanation of the work of the alliance highlighted how many people may live with dementia but not have a diagnosis. It’s great to be a part of the Alliance so our team can better understand Dementia, help to raise awareness, and promote diagnosis”.
A few of the Community Builders & Community Connectors below with Gina Awad.