Edinburgh groups land funding to help dementia-friendly communities

Capital Theatres and The Eric Liddell Community have both received grants through the initial strand of the Empowering Dementia Friendly Communities Fund.

A partnership between the Scottish Government and Age Scotland’s About Dementia project, the fund will support the development of Meeting Centres and dementia-friendly communities across the country between 2022 and 2023. This round of funding focused specifically on empowering dementia-friendly communities, with a total of £166,632 made available for distribution through this strand.

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, said: “Our funding partnership with Age Scotland was introduced to support and enhance dementia friendly communities activity across Scotland.

“I am delighted to see investment reaching local communities and look forward to hearing about how it’s supporting people with dementia and their families."

John Macmillan, Chief Executive of The Eric Liddell Community, said: “We are delighted to be ramping up our Involvement work at The Eric Liddell Community and we are extremely grateful to Age Scotland for awarding us a grant from the Empowering Dementia Friendly Communities Fund.

"This grant will enable us to hire an Involvement Co-ordinator and accelerate positive change in how people living with dementia and their carers are supported, enabled and included as part of our community.

"This generous support from the Dementia Friendly Communities Fund and subsequently the incoming Involvement Co-ordinator will be critical in progressing towards our vision, of a community where no one feels lonely or isolated.”

Dawn-Claire Irvine, Creative Engagement Manager and Dementia Programme Lead at Capital Theatres, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding from Age Scotland. It enables us to continue working alongside our dementia friendly community (DFC) in the development of meaningful artistic programmes for people with lived experience of dementia.

"New initiatives will include a Creative Contributors group embedding dementia friendly best practice at the heart of our sector; learning opportunities alongside professionals; a new podcast series; and an active role in ensuring dementia design and enablement is central to the King’s Theatre redevelopment.

"We are so grateful to be one of a growing network of organisations working together to create a flourishing dementia friendly Scotland.

"We absolutely believe in a place where people living with dementia are celebrated, valued and respected for their contribution to society and able to exercise their right to a cultural life for as long as they desire. We just can’t wait to get started!”Kainde Manji, Head of Dementia at Age Scotland, added: “We were delighted to receive so much interest for this fund and to be able to support such ground-breaking work. The pandemic has demonstrated how important the role of communities is in delivering support to people living with dementia, and people living with dementia have often been active agents within this."The projects funded in this round are all committed to ensuring that people with dementia and unpaid carers play an active role in developing and delivering their work. We are excited to see how they progress and are confident of the significant impact they will make in their local area and beyond.”