Service Manager Update October 2022

DDG is 40! 

Thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate on Wednesday. Didn’t we have a lovely time! 

Here are a few pictures from the event: 

Research Participants Needed! 

Are you a carer of someone with dementia? Does the person you care for attend a day centre? Would you like to share your views and contribute to research? 

A study is being conducted which focuses on the role of day care centres for people living with dementia on the lives of informal carers. Taking part in this study would involve a face to face interview, lasting approximately one hour, during which you would be asked questions regarding your role as a carer and the influence dementia day centres have on your life. The interviews would take place around Spring 2023. 

The research will be conducted by Ursula Mallender, an Occupational Therapy postgraduate student at Sheffield Hallam University. 

If you would be interested in taking part, or would like further information, please email

Please note that this is a voluntary study, there will be no payment for participation. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this! 

Life Story Group 

Some of you may have heard about the Life Story Project from Pat and Nigel. This is a wonderful project delivered by Speech and Language therapists working with the University of Sheffield. The group runs on Wednesday afternoons from a venue near Weston Park Museum. 

What is life story work?  

Life story work is about finding out what is important to you  

– your memories, experiences and beliefs.  

Students get to know you and what interests you.  

Share what YOU want about YOUR life.  

If you want us to, we put this information into your Life Story.  

Your Life Story is unique, so you choose how to do it. Some people make  

books, but other people choose a box of important pictures and items.  

Some people work on communication, or just have a chat. 

There is a bit of a waiting list to join the group at present and they can only accept referrals (i.e. people can’t just drop in) but please chat to Bev if you would like to find out more or if you would like to be referred. 

Au revoir!

Goodbye for now from Ayesha. I’m moving on to a different organisation next week but just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone involved with DDG. What a wonderful and special environment you have all created and I send you all my love and best wishes for the next 40 years! xxxxx

August newsletter here!

Hello everybody! 

Welcome to the second edition of our new newsletter for carers, members, staff and friends of Darnall Dementia Group.   

DDG Groups for carers 

We continue to offer two groups for carers past and present.  Bev runs a fortnightly Zoom group on Tuesdays 2pm – 3pm which is a chance to catch up on the week’s events and is well attended.  Please call Bev for the Zoom links and log ins. 

Ayesha runs a monthly face to face carers group from one of the upstairs rooms at St Albans.   It’s a chance to share how we are all getting along but also a chance to share news about groups, events and useful tips.  It’s also a chance to meet without the person you care for as they are able to come to a fun (and free) singing session with Andrea downstairs in the Day centre – even if it’s not their regular day to attend.  We may be able to help with transport for those living near to Darnall. Please get in touch with Ayesha if you would like to come along and if you would like to book a place for the singing session.  Dates for the rest of the year are Wednesday 7 September, 5 October, 2 November, 7 December 

Can you help? 

Like lots of small charities Darnall Dementia Group relies on the support of our invaluable volunteers.  Our transport partner Manor Community Transport is really in need of volunteers to drive their minibuses and bring people into our Day Centre and to other groups and centres.  If you know anyone that might be interested in the Volunteer Driver role please direct them to the advert on the Voluntary Action Sheffield Website here: 

or ask them to contact Lisa at Manor Community Transport : 

Tips and Tricks! At our last carers group people were talking about how we can keep people safe if they go out for a walk alone and potentially could forget where they are or how to get home.    For people who carry a mobile phone it’s possible to tweak the map settings to share the location with someone else, e.g. on Google maps go to your account and choose “Location sharing”.    Alternatively, there are lots of different GPS trackers on the market. My internet search found one by Ubeequee for less than £40 for the gadget and a £4 per month subscription (via a SIM card). If anyone has found a good product that they would recommend it would be good to share 😊  

What’s on? There are always new groups or events springing up either for people living with dementia or their carers.  Here are a few that we’ve come across recently: 

Health, social care and community colleagues working in the Manor, Park and Arbourthorne areas are taking part in a project to reduce falls amongst people living with dementia.  Several DDG staff and volunteers recently attended this helpful falls training session for staff. This free training is now being offered to people living with dementia and their carers.    Even if you live outside of the area its worth getting in touch as the organisers may be able to extend the invitation to you. 

Hype Dance, in association with Lab4Living, and funded by Arts Council England, have undertaken a period of R&D, utilising two dancers and a movement artist / choreographer to understand and deconstruct the movements executed during the dressing of older people in care by re-enacting dressing rituals, using performance research methods.  The aim of this is to explore whether the use of art-based and performance research methods, such as dance and textile creations, can lead to a new understanding of the relationship between a person with reduced mobility and their carers, during dressing rituals. 
This project will culminate in a sharing of the dance theatre on Friday 12th August at 19:00 at Hype Dance Studio Theatre, Sheffield. There will be some research materials on display, a short Q&A session after the sharing and a chance for an informal social exchange at the end. The event will last approximately 1 hour.  If you (or any of your colleagues) would like to attend this event, please reply to this email – and please feel free to forward to anyone you feel may be interested. Many thanks Alex

Neighbourhood Dementia Partnership meeting This is a really useful monthly meeting that I go to which is hosted by Dovercourt surgery.  It’s attended by local dementia groups and organisations and has some representation from people living with dementia and carers (but would appreciate more).  We often have presentations from local services and people with expertise in living with dementia or supporting people living with dementia.  The next meeting is on Thursday 22nd September, 12,30pm-200pm on Zoom.  Please contact if you would like to be added to the mailing list. 

Forthcoming conference organised by Deepness Dementia Media. At Victoria Hall, Sheffield on the 26th and 27th September 2022 The conference is organised by Deepness Dementia Media (Deepness Ltd), a non-profit organization, run by people living with Dementia for people living with Dementia. The theme of the two-day Conference is the Unconscious Bias of Dementia Let me know if you’d like me to send you a copy of the poster or you can get more info from:  

Chat and Cuppa with Sheffield Museums Drop-in, free sessions for people living with Dementia or memory issues, their carers and friends. Free tea and coffee provided.  These run monthly from the different museum sites and there’s often an opportunity to have a guided tour round the museum/gallery or to do some making yourself. I volunteer at these and it’s a lovely group – it’s not well attended yet so please spread the word 😊  Upcoming dates are: Thursday 11 August 1 – 3pm, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Tuesday 6 September 1 –3pm Kelham Island Museum  More information can be found on their webpage: 

Dementia Futures Event Tuesday 20 September 2022

Spotlight On:  Manor and Castle Development Trust   

One of our local “People Keeping Well” provider organisations is Manor and Castle Development Trust.  One of the services they offer is regular wellbeing phone calls/visits to people living with dementia and their carers.  Their worker knows about local dementia friendly services and can signpost to other groups or services too.   I sat in on their Zoom carers group and also their dementia friendly social café at the Victoria Centre last month – both were very welcoming and I recommend them to you.          

Other useful contact numbers (thank you Nigel for sharing)

Lastly, as always – if we can help with anything please contact myself or Bev and we will try our best to assist .  Also please let me know whether you prefer this newsletter to be posted or emailed or if you would like to come off the distribution list.  The newsletter will also be added to our website: Thank you!  Ayesha  

Please contact Ayesha at: or call 07468501570 

Please contact Bev at: or call 07397158460 

Service Manager Update – July 2022

Whooo – it’s a warm one today! I hope everyone is managing to look after themselves and their loved ones in this heat. One of our great trustees Kristen pulled together a list of useful reading for looking after ourselves and others during this heatwave. Main messages are of course – open windows in morning and evening once the air is cooler – but keep them closed in the middle of the day when its hotter outside than in, drink lots of water, stay home and in the shade, don’t do too much:

The other update to mention is that our revised offer leaflet is about to go to the printers so we will soon have a lovely printed version. Let me know if you would like a few copies to hand out.

Service Manager Update – April 2022

Hello everyone. My name is Ayesha and I’m the new Service Manager at Darnall Dementia Group.

Here are a few updates for our members, carers and friends. 

Changes to how the service is accessed and funded 

Darnall Dementia Group is pleased to announce that we recently succeeded in securing a new contract from Sheffield City Council. The contract runs from February 2022 for 5 years and is our primary source of funding. The new contract brings some changes and from now on any referrals for Sheffield residents need to come through the Sheffield City Council care and support assessment process.  Further details can be found here

The way we are funded has also changed under the new contract and our members pay the council directly for our service. How much members pay for the service depends on their financial circumstances as assessed by the council. More information can be found here

We are still accepting private referrals from non-Sheffield residents.

If you are thinking of making a referral/applying to our service and would like to know more about us – please contact us for an informal chat. 

Neighbourhood Dementia Partnership 

At the next meeting on Thursday 28th April 12.30pm, Wendy Mitchell, author of ‘Somebody I used to know’ and ‘What I wish people knew about Dementia’ will be joining to talk about her experiences of living with early onset Dementia. She will be sharing how her experiences have changed over time and will also talk about her engagement with health care professionals and how these relationships can be improved. Visitors are very welcome at this meeting – if you would like to come along please email and we will forward the Zoom log in details. 

Sheffield Dementia Advice Service 

The Sheffield Dementia Advice Service has now expanded its remit to provide advice to the public as well as professionals. More information can be found here at the Age UK website: 

You can contact the advice line by phone: (0114) 250 2875 or by email: 

Carers meetings 

Darnall Dementia Group currently hosts two Carer’s groups. A weekly online group facilitated by Bev and a monthly face-to-face carers group facilitated by Ayesha. These groups are open to DDG member carers past and present. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more. 

Dying matters week 

Next week (Monday 2 to Friday 6 May) is Dying Matters Awareness week. The aim is to help people to talk about dying and grief, and plan for the end of life. 

There are lots of useful resources on the Dying Matters website including this guide to “Talking about dying with people affected by dementia”  


How is DDG doing in the current Covid-19 situation?

The onset of the pandemic which hit the UK in February 2020 heralded unprecedented changes for many organisations especially those working with people face to face as we do at Darnall Dementia Group. Through the early, worrying days, when we knew that there was worse to come, and the figures for the spread of the disease indicated that we would inevitably be affected, to the day when we decided we would have to close our doors to keep everyone safe from the virus, we were concerned about the negative impact this would have on our attenders and their loved ones.

The risk of contracting the virus was high – that was clear. The risk to older people, many of whom were physically more vulnerable because of underlying health conditions was considerable. In addition, the death toll was rising fastest in that age group. We, and all the people concerned with protecting, supporting and caring for the attenders were worried.

To look at the picture as a whole, we had to take into account that there were also considerable risks to the attenders and their carers of being without the regular day care that they had come to rely on, enjoy and look forward to. This might mean a decline in mental health and well-being for both attender and carer, loss of time to themselves for both and the possible consequent loss of physical health and resilience.

The staff worked hard in the early days after the lock-down to establish methods of connecting with people which suited both attender and carer, and would provide some of the much needed relief and support that both rely on. Telephone calls, Face-time and video calls, Skype and Zoom – either one to one, or in groups, gradually have become the expected pattern of the week for many of the people we normally would expect to see in the Day Centre. For their carers, it has had the added advantage that they are able to be in touch with staff much more frequently than they would have been previously.

We are moving in to a new time of uncertainty, as the lock-down rules are eased. What does this mean for our attenders and their families and carers? What does the future hold for Day Care? Is there a possibility that normal service will be resumed – in the foreseeable future? By next year?  ever?

Strenuous efforts are being made to ensure the sustainability of the work of the Group. Whether that be in ways we have been discovering in the past three months, or new ones we haven’t yet tried.

We are hopeful that we will continue to provide a service to those people who need it and who have demonstrated over the years how much it is appreciated and how much it is needed.

Below is a picture from a Face -Time meeting between the Day Centre Coordinator and a couple she is supporting during the Covid-19 crisis.






Who are we?

Darnall Dementia Trust exists to provide exemplary, high quality person-centred care to people living with dementia and support to their carers.IMG_2698

  • Darnall Dementia Group is part of Darnall Dementia Trust and runs high quality day care on three days a week, for up to 10 people living with dementia on each day and support, advice and information to carers
  • Two Carers groups per month support people who are caring for someone living with dementia.
  • Education, training and information are offered to students, volunteers, other professionals and health workers.


  • To provide support for people living with dementia and their carers.
  • To provide day care on three days per week where people with dementia are treated with respect, dignity and compassion; where they are valued as individuals whose unique contribution to the creation of a community is enabled and facilitated in a person-centred way and where they can experience their unique identity and feel a sense of belonging in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.
  • To raise awareness of dementia and provide education, training, coaching, advice and support to people living with dementia, their carers, volunteers, students and others concerned with the care of people living with dementia.
  • To provide a model of care for people living with dementia and their carers, which demonstrates a way of working that can influence people who are in contact with the organisation and beyond.


The iPad and the Garden

Sheila Manclark writes:

We purchased an iPad with part of a grant from the Westfield Foundation. Colleagues at Sheffield University loaded it with dementia friendly games, and it has proved a real hit with some of our attenders.


Favourites are Wordsearch, Hangman, and a game fitting blocks together.

In April this year we started clearing out the small patch of garden under the back window. We have several people attending who are keen gardeners, and soon we were growing flowers, tomatoes and runner beans. Some of these came from seeds, others from donated plants. We have been able to have cut flowers on the table every day, tomatoes have been harvested and tasted, and we had a fine crop of beans. The garden has provided a fantastic opportunity for some to get their hands dirty and get stuck in, others have enjoyed going outside and looking at it, and everyone has been able to appreciate the fresh flowers, and comment on the produce we grew. We are about to start planting bulbs so that next spring we can enjoy crocuses, daffodils and tulips.

Cleethorpes trip 2017

Cleethorpes 2017 – Peter Bemba writes:
Our annual trip to Cleethorpes this year took place on 19th July.
It was a fabulous day, the weather was warm and sunny. The fish and chips at the Ocean Fish Restaurant was up to the usual excellent standard, thanks to all the staff for their efficient service.


An added bonus this year was that the tide was in so some brave souls were able to roll up their trousers



and go for a paddle!


When we got back on the coach, everyone was talking about the fun they had and the enjoyment they
got from spending time together as a group. We’re already looking forward to next year’s trip.IMG_2990

Visit from our M.P. Clive Betts

Clive Betts, our local MP, responded to an invitation to visit us at the Day Centre. He spoke to everyone present, and enjoyed chatting about Sheffield Wednesday football club to a number of fellow supporters. His support for our work is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to welcoming him at the centre again in the future.IMG_2805