As part of our earlier research around Meeting Centres we developed a guidebook to help people understand the process for planning and opening a new Meeting Centres. We also produced a booklet describing the ‘Essential Features’ of what makes a Meeting Centre. In our current work, we have spent time reviewing and updating these resources, as well as expanding the set to include a booklet for carers and various information sheets.
What did we do?
Our existing resources were originally developed back in 2017, so we were aware that they were likely to be out of date due to progress around Meeting Centres and our work around data collection activities. As Meeting Centres are gaining real traction and spreading across the UK, we felt it was important to take the time to take stock, review and update our resources. With this in mind, we pulled together various feedback on the resources. This included comments from people who had attended our training courses, including people affected by dementia, and the practical experiences of people who have actually been setting up Meeting Centres.
Although we didn’t carry out a formal feedback gathering activity, we’ve been keeping track of suggested updates and changes for a while now, so thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts with us. We also reviewed the language we used within the guidebook, tried to bring out the role of people affected by dementia in the planning process, and acknowledged the impact of the pandemic. The data collection forms within the guidebook were also updated to reflect those that were piloted with different Meeting Centres and are now being used widely in practice. While none of these were major changes and may not be immediately obvious, we hope that they have strengthened the guidebook and brought it up to date.
We’ve also created a new information sheet to help spread the word about Meeting Centres and help people understand why you might want to open a Meeting Centre.
The main activity was actually carried out by Together in Dementia Everyday (tide), who worked with unpaid carers from Meeting Centres across the UK to reflect on their own experiences and compile a booklet of information specifically for carers. Their aim was to focus on what they think carers need to know about Meeting Centres. It’s a great new addition to our suite of resources, bringing the views of carers to the fore.
What’s left to do?
Work is still ongoing to develop a booklet of information specifically for people with dementia who are looking to become Meeting Centre members. This work is being led by Kirrie Connections Meeting Centre, and will be written by members, for members. As with the carers’ booklet, this will be another amazing resource to enhance what’s already in place. We didn’t want to rush the development of this booklet, so will be added to our resources in due course.
We’re also going to be including a lot of information around data collection on the Meeting Centre blog site to help people understand what is involved and to support those who may be less confident with these sorts of activities.
Where can I find the resources?
To try and make the resources easily available, you can find them in two places. Firstly, they are on the ‘Useful Resources‘ page of this Meeting Centre blog site. Secondly, they are on the Association for Dementia Studies’ website.
Thank you to everyone who was involved in creating or reviewing the resources. We’re treating the resources as living documents and will continue to review them over time.