Media Release: Finalist details announced for Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2015

SDAs for allmediascotland

NEXT week, on Thursday 24 September, is Scotland’s Dementia Awards: a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council.

We received over 90 applications for this year’s event and, after much deliberation from the judging panels, have narrowed this down to the following shortlisted initiatives for each category.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow.

Tickets to attend the event are available – see for further details. We will be tweeting with #SDA15.

The finalists for the six award categories are:

Best community support initiative

  • Alzheimer Scotland Renfrewshire – Flexible Community Support(Alzheimer Scotland Renfrewshire Service)
  • Fit for Life (NHS Lothian)
  • Harris Community Musical Memories (Harris Community Dementia Group)

Best acute care initiative

  • Knowing Me, Knowing You (Mental Health Services Older People’s Care, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde)
  • Scotland’s National Dementia Champions Training Team (University of the West of Scotland & Alzheimer Scotland)
  • Activity Club for patients at Wishaw General Hospital (NHS Lanarkshire) 

Best dementia friendly community initiative

  • Dementia Friendly Edinburgh (Edinburgh Dementia Delivery Group)
  • Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Community Project (Alzheimer Scotland)
  • Dundee Dementia Library (Dundee Library & Information Service, Leisure & Culture Dundee)

Best educational initiative

  • Becoming a Dementia Informed Organisation (Angus Council Assessment Centre)
  • Edinburgh Dementia Training Partnership (City of Edinburgh Council)
  • School of Health Sciences (University of Stirling)

Best innovation in continuing care

  • Remi Sing (Bupa)
  • Namaste Care implementation in Renfrewshire (East Ward, Dykebar Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde)
  • Seaside Sensory Experience (Dundonald House)

Most innovative partnership

  • North West Edinburgh Section 17c Dementia Programme (North West Edinburgh Section 17c Dementia Management Group)
  • Arky’s Resident Nail Bar (Arkleston Primary School)
  • ‘Rabbit stew, anyone?’ (NHS Highland)

Scotland’s Dementia Awards celebrate the work of both professionals and community groups who are committed to helping people with dementia and their families.

The awards showcase the creativity, innovation and dedication that make a real difference to the daily lives of people with dementia and their families across Scotland when organisations, groups and teams work together.

To find out more about Scotland’s Dementia Awards, visit or email


Alzheimer Scotland NHS Education for Scotland NHS Health Scotland Scottish Social Services Council
Kirsty Yanik,PR & Information Manager0131 243 1453

07900 498223 

Jennifer McColgan, Corporate Communications Officer0141 223 Justine Hampton, Marketing Manager0131 314 531507500 854533

Lorraine Wakefield, Senior Communications Officer01382 317922

Further information on the finalists:

Best community support initiative

 Alzheimer Scotland Renfrewshire – Flexible Community Support

Alzheimer Scotland Renfrewshire’s flexible community support groups were created in partnership with families affected by dementia to increase community engagement and provide alternatives to traditional service provision. The aim is to reduce social isolation using an asset based approach with a strong focus on outcomes. This was due to feedback from many people who told us that they wanted to socialise and have fun but felt they had lost confidence to go out in the local community.

The project has adopted a range of activities and interventions including our own world restaurant and singing memories choir which are now firmly rooted in the local community.

‘Fit for Life’

‘Fit for Life’ is an NHS community-based exercise group for older people living with dementia, depression or anxiety, which aims to improve balance, mobility, fitness and confidence in clients who are often socially isolated, have poor balance or who have low levels of physical functioning. Through the support of physiotherapists and volunteers, clients attend a 12-week programme of specific exercises and tai chi. Fit for Life has helped people with dementia become more physically active; re-establish a sense of personal control and provide greater involvement in the community. It can be seen as a benchmark in person-centred care and integrated working with third sector agencies.

Harris Community Musical Memories

Harris Community Musical Memories – where people living with dementia and their carers can meet to share news with friends (old and new) in a safe environment, relax over a cuppa and cake, and sing songs. We are flexible, fun and meaningful. Volunteers from the community, experts from Alzheimer Scotland, and local schools add to the event.

Our Community group is unique. We commit to take responsibility for facilitating a community connection for people living with dementia, and their carers, in our local community.

Dementia is everybody’s business and we play a vital role as a support network in Harris.

Best acute care initiative

Knowing Me, Knowing You

Using storytelling and visual arts in this acute setting, our innovative pilot created a welcoming and equal space. Here, skilful facilitation by the Village Storytelling Centre brought together patients and carers alongside a multi-disciplinary group of nurses, occupational therapists, chaplain and volunteer services to delight in discovering each others’ stories.

Around the table, we shared cake and stories and created multi-sensory art on each week’s theme. Sessions were highly responsive to individual need and population change. Held by a loose structure and adapted in the moment, each stood alone while building towards the co-creation of a personal journal.

Scotland’s National Dementia Champions Training Team

University of the West of Scotland (UWS), in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland has delivered Scotland’s National Dementia Champions programme for six cohorts: 600 health and social care professionals will be Dementia Champions by March 2016. The programme, commissioned by NHS Education Scotland (NES) in 2011 as an integral part of Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy (2010; 2013), utilises a blended approach to prepare champions to be ‘agents of change’ within their own work settings. Working with colleagues, champions are charged with improving the experience of people with dementia across all health and social care areas, focussing upon developing acute hospital care.

Activity Club for Patients at Wishaw General Hospital

Mary’s daughter said: “It was like I had my mother back.” Staff gathered a life history with input from me using the Jackie Pool personal history profile and Getting to Know me document. A Pool activity Checklist was completed and staff planned the activities around my mum’s needs, allowing her to reach her full potential. She attended the club, participated in activities, including card making. As a result, she was engaging, less distressed and discharge became a safe and viable option. I could see before me the person I knew as mum.

Best dementia friendly community initiative

Dementia Friendly Edinburgh

Making Edinburgh a better place to live and visit for people living with dementia is a priority for the city.

Working together under the banner of ‘dementia friendly Edinburgh’, City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian and Alzheimer Scotland are driving the city’s vision. At grassroots level a network of dementia friendly neighbourhood communities is working on local dementia friendly activities.

Activities include the city’s dementia awareness campaign focusing on recognising the signs of dementia and stigma; a new post diagnostic service; and work with the city’s retailers, services and visitor attractions to ensure people with dementia are welcome and supported.

Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Community Project

Our Motherwell Dementia Friendly Community Pilot (2012) highlighted a range of inequalities within our BME Communities. The largest group in North Lanarkshire is the Pakistani/ Muslim Community.

Our Muslim community realise the challenges in reducing stigma around dementia and want to support future generations of women family carers.  Collectively we acknowledge years of marginalisation of Muslims in society and wish to build trust and breakdown barriers between communities and service planners/providers.

The Lanarkshire Mosque and Muslim Community project is an emerging movement for change with a strong sense of ownership, open to working in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Princess Royal Trust Lanarkshire Carers Centre and other multiagency partners.

Dundee Dementia Library

Leisure & Culture Dundee has developed the first public Dementia Library in Scotland to support understanding and self-management of the condition for people with a dementia diagnosis, families, carers, professionals and anyone wishing to learn more about dementia. The service provides a safe, relaxed, non-clinical and accessible city centre location where people can browse and borrow independently or be assisted by trained library staff. We provide access to over 300 books, leaflets and reminiscence materials specially selected to assist, inform and support people adjusting to diagnosis and their carers, together with a dedicated space to facilitate meetings, reminiscence and shared reading experiences.

Best educational initiative

Working towards becoming a dementia-informed organisation

Angus Council People Directorate Assessment Centre (PDAC) is committed to the Promoting Excellence Framework (PEF). PDAC identified training needs of staff; mapping the outcomes, knowledge and skill requirements of the PEF into self-assessment workbooks.

PDAC developed Dementia Ambassador training in partnership with the local health board, and SVQ unit 3112 was used for staff to demonstrate competence (in line with the PEF).  PDAC have supported 59 staff to complete training and research. This research and innovative practice is shared, discussed and evaluated through regular Dementia Ambassador and Champion network meetings. This enables good practice within Angus to be cascaded to staff and enhances service provision for people with dementia.

Edinburgh Dementia Training Partnership

The Edinburgh Training Partnership comprises representatives from NHS Lothian, City of Edinburgh Council and independent sectors. Its remit, informed by the National Dementia Strategies, is to provide good quality training primarily within care settings, which improves the experience of people with dementia, their families and carers, and the staff who support them.

Another key objective is to deliver a sustainable training programme using a train-the-trainer model and linking participants with the SSSC Dementia Ambassadors Network. We use the Promoting Excellence resources as a framework, but bolster the programme by making use of a variety of additional ideas and materials which reflect best practice.

Being Dementia Smart: Enhanced Dementia Practice through Pre-registration Nurse Education

Being Dementia Smart (BDS) is an innovative dementia curriculum; designed and integrated within the pre–registration graduate nursing programme since 2014 at the School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling. It integrates the ‘Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland’ and the Promoting Excellence Framework. It is delivered using a multiagency approach and is underpinned by the National Dementia Strategy. BDS is a proactive response in line with the National Action Plan for Dementia in Scotland to develop the future nursing workforce through the Promoting Excellence Knowledge & Skills Framework.

Best innovation in continuing care

Remi-sing 2015


It is pure magic. It moves us, soothes us and makes us want to dance, it affects our mood in all kinds of ways and it makes us remember. The power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories is an increasingly key feature of dementia care. Reminiscence can trigger memories and moments of connection between people – a personal connection that may not have otherwise been made that day had it not been for singing together.

The remi-sing is an event to bring together the care home community in Glasgow and the surrounding areas and each event has over 20 care homes taking part with on average 200 residents and staff support.

Namaste Care Team East Ward, Dykebar Hospital

Namaste means to ‘honour the spirit within’ and is a special way of caring for patients with advanced dementia.

The programme supports the philosophy of person-centred care and offers people with advanced dementia the opportunity to engage with others by therapeutic touch and sensory stimulation. Comfort is a large part of the process and each patient has items that are personal to them and provides pleasure, comfort and stimulates memory.

Each session consists of a variety of sensory interventions with the choice being determined by the needs of the patient and informed through life story books, staff and carer’s knowledge.

Seaside Sensory Experience 

People with dementia, families, staff and local community groups got together to transform the coffee shop; hanging pictures decorating tables, planning menus, developing reminiscence aids and prompts. The coffee shop was turned into a traditional seaside café multi-sensory experience. It created enjoyable experiences and opportunities for people with dementia, with therapeutic value. It supported and empowered people with dementia, with complex needs, who have difficulty leaving within the environment of the care home, to be fully involved; changes that have meaning to them and families.

Most innovative partnership

North West Edinburgh Section 17c Dementia Programme

We are a group of 17 GP practices located in North West Edinburgh who are working together to collaborate with our colleagues in Secondary Care, Health & Social Care, the Scottish Government, Alzheimer Scotland and the Voluntary Sector. Our aim is to provide support and care for our patients with dementia and their families by working with others to identify their individual needs and direct them to the appropriate services.  We have set up a small steering group, which has experience of dementia both professionally and personally, to explore new initiatives and share new ways of working with all the practices in North West Edinburgh.

Arky’s Resident Nail Bar

Since August 2013, our pupils have established and built upon links with staff and residents of Renfrew Care Home. Fortnightly visits ensure regular contact where not only residents can enjoy friendships, love and chat, but our pupils too. Life skills which cannot be taught in the classroom environment, naturally blossom through our partnership.  These visits are both ways; the residents look forward to attending tea dances, singalongs, open afternoons and annual events. We have also widened our pupils’ skills through working closely with Salon Services for hand massage and nail painting which the residents thoroughly enjoy. This stimulates talk.

Rabbit stew anyone?’

During the course of a pioneering care home placement in The Highlands, a student dietitian worked with the cook, the activities co-ordinator, a group of residents with dementia and two of their relatives. Reminiscences about favourite meals from childhood in the wartime helped staff design a menu of their choice: Scotch broth, rabbit stew and Clootie dumpling, forming a WWII themed lunch for all residents. This innovative, multi-agency work demonstrates that people living with dementia are capable of planning aspects of their own care, based on mealtime memories using this model of facilitated, reflective conversations.

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Alzheimer Scotland contact details…

Contact: Kirsty Yanik
Phone: 07900498223