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Evaluation of Hampshire dementia friendly communities

Evaluation | June 2015

IPC undertook an evaluation of the Hampshire-wide Dementia Friendly Communities (DFC) project in March and April 2015. The evaluation was intended to explore whether the objectives and outcomes of the Hampshire-wide Dementia Friendly Communities project have been achieved.

The project involved a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection, with analysis and drafting completed in spring 2015.

The Dementia Friendly Communities project in Hampshire has been operating for two years, during which time more than 3,400 people have attended awareness sessions delivered by project staff, and many more have attended sessions provided by volunteers.

Eleven Dementia Friendly High Streets have been launched and 10 Dementia Action Groups established with 440 organisations signed up to the Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance. Thirty Dementia Ambassadors have been recruited and the project has helped to support the establishment of 23 new peer support groups.

The evaluation concluded that the project had done well in the range and scale of its activities. Many sections of the community, particularly the service and retail sectors, have a better awareness of dementia and how to support people with dementia and their carers.

The project team had responded energetically and flexibly to demand, seizing new opportunities where they emerged and working collaboratively with a range of other organisations and individuals. This enabled the project to maximise its effectiveness in reaching as many people and groups as possible.

The timing of the project contributed to its success, coinciding as it did with growing policy interest and national campaigns around dementia. The support of leaders in local politics and social care also contributed to the impact and success of the project.

The research could not find evidence of a direct link between dementia friendly communities' activity and delayed moves into residential care but it did find that the project had levered in large amounts of volunteer time which added value. Individual cases illustrated the ways in which the project contributed to the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers.