Dementia Information Pack – Summary of consultation at DDG 4th July 2013

Service users, volunteers and staff at Darnall Dementia Group met with at team from the University of Sheffield to share their opinions about the Sheffield Dementia Information Pack. The Pack is designed to provide useful information and advice about dementia, and provide ‘signposts’ to key sources of support in Sheffield.

The team from the University of Sheffield are keen to ensure the Pack contains what people with memory problems and their supporters actually want and need to know. After introductions, and a sandwich lunch and drinks the discussions began. One of the volunteers, Will, had devised a step-by-step approach to discussing the main sections of the Pack. There then followed one-to-one conversations with all service users during which their key observations and comments were noted. After a welcome break for refreshments in the sunshine a final group discussion was held to seek a consensus about the kind of information about dementia desired by service users.


David Reid, one of the team from the University of Sheffield, said afterwards: “On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the service users, the volunteers and Lynsey for organizing this successful consultation session today. We have learned a great deal that we can use in our plans for the Pack. For example, we learned that the positive advice in the Pack about how to ‘live well’ with dementia was particularly valued. Some service users talked specifically about the importance of there being sources of ‘hope’ after the diagnosis. Also, we learned that the directory of services in Sheffield contained in the Pack was valued as it offered ways of meeting other people. Meeting other people and being able to talk was identified by service users as really important. Finally, we learned that some people would appreciate a spoken version of the Pack. Many thanks again to everyone who helped make this such a useful and enjoyable session”


The Sheffield Dementia Information Pack is updated every 6 months and can be downloaded for free from Paper copies can be requested by emailing David Reid ( or Tony Warnes (

Touch-screen computers and the potential to enable enjoyable activities with people with dementia

Darnall Dementia Group> has been actively participating in an on-going study undertaken by a PhD student from the University of Sheffield. The aim of the study is two-fold.  Firstly, to increase current understanding of the ways interest may be stimulated and interaction encouraged by using an assortment of enjoyable activities uploaded onto touch screen computers. Secondly, to challenge the assumptions that people with dementia may not benefit from such contemporary technologies.

The study was carried out over four weeks and all the group members, volunteers and staff at Darnall got involved with interest and enthusiasm. This group is already characteristic of strong friendships and feelings of wellbeing yet participation during this project heightened interaction, communication and laughter. Introducing the group to the technology was deemed successful and it was felt that everyone involved enjoyed and benefited from their participation. The researcher considered the groups involvement to exceed her expectations and found her own involvement to be ‘a complete joy from beginning to end’.

‘Striding Forward’: A dementia awareness toolkit

DDG was invited by shaping our age to take part in research looking at well being in older people.

Shaping Our Age is a big lottery funded partnership project between WRVS and the Universities of Brunel and De Montfort and is all about involving older people in developing the services they receive.

Since May 2012, Shaping our Age has formed a partnership with Darnall Dementia Group which has involved carers and people living with dementia participating in focus group discussion and activities a with the Shaping our Age Involvement worker to:

  • explore the term well-being and the barriers to achieving well-being
  • explore life as a carer
  • consider some key factors important when supporting people living with dementia in hospital settings

Feedback from the groups suggested enjoyment of the experience and importantly a sense of being listened to and a valued in the sharing ideas for contributing to service development.

Since September 2012 Shaping our Age and the groups from Darnall Dementia have come together to further explore the development of a project through which the voice of the group can be heard in presenting key messages about dementia and by doing so influencing the way people respond respond to people living with dementia.

The project will run between October 2012 and April 2013. It is hoped that the outcomes of the project will continue long after Shaping our Age and will be fulfilled under the umbrella Darnall Dementia Group.

Darnall Dementia Awareness Group was formed to take this work forward.

‘Striding Forward’: a dementia awareness toolkit is an interactive resource, created by Darnall Dementia Awareness Group through a partnership project with Shaping our Age.

Darnal Dementia Awareness Group (DDAG) brings together carers, bereaved carers and people living with dementia in a shared vision of outreach to different audiences in their local community, including health and social care professionals, local community groups, schools and members of the public.

The Toolkit contains five activities which encourage participants to consider the lives of people living with dementia and their carers and to reflect upon their own values when interacting with people living with dementia and their carers.

Over the coming weeks the group will be developing their work and the ‘Striding Forward’ outreach workshops.

Outreach workshops will incur a fee which will be negotiated with each organisation to create together a workshop tailored to meet specific needs.

The toolkit was launched on the 27th of February at the Victoria Hall, Sheffield. The event was attended by over 50 people representing people living with dementia, carers and care professionals. The delegates were given the opportunity to try out the 5 activities and were encouraged to give feedback on the experience and any suggestions they may have had on how to improve the toolkit. We had a very nice lunch which was generously donated by Sheffield Hallam University.

DDAG is reviewing the feedback and suggestions as a means of fine tuning the activities in the toolkit, we aim to begin our outreach workshops from May.

Darnall Dementia Group Wins Sheffield City Council Dignity in Care Team Award

On Thursday 21st March 2013 members of Darnall Dementia Group attended the Sheffield City Council Dignity in Care Awards at Sheffield Town Hall.

DDG Accepts the award
Darnall Dementia Group Accepts the award

We were delighted and honored to win the team award for 2013 which was proudly accepted by Lynsey, Shelia, Heather and Louise. It was very humbling to listen to all the person centered presentations highlighting all the great work going on in Sheffield.


Sheffield City Council - Dignity in Care Group Award 2013
Sheffield City Council - Dignity in Care Group Award 2013

Thanks to Lisa Heller for nominating the group and to all the volunteers, staff, management committee and attendees who make our continued work possible.

Office Move

Due to the closure of the Norbury Resource Center we are relocating to Lightwood House.

Lightwood House
Lightwood Lane
S8 8BG

We havent been connected to the landline yet but can be contacted using the following details:
Mobile : 07773381621

Office Location

View Larger Map

Wednesday Group Christmas Lunch 2012

On the 19th December the group set off to the Hope Valley to enjoy Christmas lunch in a traditional country pub. The Old Hall Hotel in Hope offers classic pub meals alongside the festive menu within a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The group were seated next to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the mood became very festive, very quickly as crackers were pulled, jokes were told and party hats were adorned.

Lunch was served and everyone tucked in. An initial hush descended with just the odd ‘this is lovely’ or ‘really tasty’ being murmured through mouthfuls of roast turkey or beef. Although, it wasn’t long before we were back to the usual raucous banter, laughing and conversation that is so characteristic of this group.

We left the Old Hall Hotel content and replete for the bus journey back into Sheffield. Everybody commented on what a wonderful time we had, ‘one of the best so far!’

Atkinson’s Trip

The Wednesday group had a lovely trip to the city centre. Whilst there we ate lunch and had tea and cake in the restaurant in Atkinson’s. We also spent time trying on furry winter hats and sampling the delights of the perfume counter! The group enjoyed looking at the large selection of wool for knitting and generally had a really good day. Many of the attendees commented that it had been many years since they had last visited town due to a variety of issues, even though it was something they had once done on a weekly basis, so it was lovely to be there again!

The Day We Went to Cleethorpes

Each September we keep up our tradition of the Cleethorpes Day Trip and this year was no exception.  All our day centre members were invited to join us and we were able to provide appropriate care for all who chose to come.   Each person had a dedicated volunteer, relative or member of staff to accompany them throughout the day.

As we set off on the coach the weather kept us in suspense and we were not sure whether we would have sun or rain.  We didn’t let it put us off as we all climbed on board and everyone settled down to chat and look at the scenery.  Some members recognised parts of Darnall and Attercliffe and began reminiscing about where they had lived and worked.  There were some lively characters amongst us and soon we had a chorus or two of singing.

When we arrived in Cleethorpes it was bright and breezy so we walked a little way to the Ocean View Restaurant.  As we are regulars here we were welcomed and shown to our tables.  Everyone enjoyed tucking into an enormous hearty fish and chips lunch.  Afterwards we walked back down to the seafront and strolled along the promenade.   Seeing the sand and feeling the sea breeze lifted everyone’s spirits and raised smiles and laughter.  Of course we could not leave before enjoying an ice-cream, or a drink, on the prom and taking some ‘holiday snaps’.  In the background of some of the photos was an amusement arcade sign which said ’Taylor Made Fun’.  Just perfect!

We certainly had ‘A lovely time the day we went to Cleethorpes’.

The trip was paid for by donations and money raised by Lynsey, Peter, Gemma and Sacha who completed the Sheffield 10 kilometres race.

Visit to Woodland View Nursing Home Sensory Garden

During the summer the BBC ‘Flower Pot Gang’ took on several challenges to re-vitalise unused land by creating community gardens.  Woodland View was the first one worked on by Anneka Rice, Joe Swift , Phil Tufnell and the local volunteers support group.

In September our Wednesday Group made an afternoon visit to the garden to see how much it had changed. It now has a summer house, a vegetable patch, tall flowers which are easy to reach and aromatic herbs.  A safe cushioned path leads to the ‘beach area’ where there are large pebbles, a boat shaped seat and a sound post.  From this you can hear seagulls, waves on the shore and ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’.

Our group were really impressed by being able to get up close to everything in the garden and use all their senses.  Well four of them, sight, sound, smell and touch but we had to go indoors to get our taste buds going with the hot drinks and chocolate biscuits.

Visit from Lost chord

Volunteers from Cardiff, who presents Lost Cord, come to Darnal Dementia Group Centre (DDGC) to entertain people attending the group who are still living in the community. The attenders seemed to have enjoyed all the songs which were being sang, they also sang along most of the songs and joined in dancing with the support from the students and volunteers.

Observing the attenders, singing along, I realised that volunteers from ‘ Lost Chord’ had an understanding of the therapeutic value of live music and that makes a real difference to how they approach the members of the group. They appeared to involving the all the attenders in the activity and they performed very well. The ‘Lost Cord’ had some few questions for the attenders about the names of the original singers the songs which they sang, most of the attenders managed to remember the names and shouted the right names. I personally thought it was a challenge for the attenders, but it was amazing some of the attenders could recall and remembered the songs and the singers. This was supported by Oliver Sacks (2007) that “Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory, it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can”.

I have learned that music can affect all of us, calm us, animate us, comfort us, thrill us, or serve to organize and synchronize us at where ever we are, it was powerful and have great therapeutic potential for attenders who live with dementia. I have seen how music can also open and stimulate minds of everyone especially attenders.

Priviledge S Thulambo (MH student nurse)