Scottish Charitable Funder The Life Changes Trust has pooled its resources with Comic Relief and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to invest in a ground breaking project that gives people living with dementia in Scotland and across the UK a louder voice.
The three charities are investing £1.1 m to support the successful DEEP network. DEEP ( the Dementia and Engagement Project) started in 2012 with the aim of bringing people living with dementia together in groups to organise activities that positively influence and inform policy makers, service providers, the media and the general public.
Since then, over 50 groups in the UK have been raising awareness about dementia, challenging stigma and stereotypes, and working to improve local services. The funding will be used to support existing groups and develop new groups and networks, particularly in Scotland. The Life Changes Trust is also funding a Scottish Co-ordinator to develop the DEEP network.
There will also be small Involvement grants available to groups to increase the influence of people living with dementia and link them to the UK wide network. DEEP groups across the UK have already made significant contributions to addressing myths and negative attitudes about living with dementia.
For example they have produced online films about living with dementia and a guide on language about dementia. Groups have also met with researchers to advise them on how best to engage with people living with dementia.
Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust Dementia Programme, says; “This funding will support people living with dementia to come together and use their common voice to effect the changes that they want to see.
“Effectively we are funding the experts on Dementia to make their voices heard, to actually influence how services look, how they are delivered and to inform communities about how best to be supportive of those of us with dementia living amongst them.