AGM July 2021

Dementia Friendly Sandbach

AGM Agenda Tuesday 7th July 2021

Venue: Elworth Cricket Club Start: 19.00

1. Welcome/Apologies

2. Minutes of EGM and AGM 28th October 2020

3. Annual Report

4. Accounts 2020-2021

5. Elect Steering Committee and Officers

6. Any Other Business

a. Alzheimer’s Society Forget me Not Appeal Pilot/Challenge

7. Proposed Date of next AGM – Tuesday 5th July 2022

Dementia Friendly Sandbach –‘Annual’ Report to 2021 AGM


This second ‘annual’ report actually covers the 9 months since the virtual AGM in October 2020. The period has been dominated by the continuing restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This has limited activities that we could carry out for the majority of the period, with increasing activity since April 2021. This AGM was put back 3 months from April to enable a ‘more normal’ face to face AGM.

At the 2020 AGM, Dementia Friendly Sandbach (DFS) adopted a revised constitution (version 5), and planned a set of activities for the next period.

Ascertain priorities from those living with dementia and their carers

We have not carried out specific feedback surveys over the period as we have only been able to run very limited events. Less formal feedback has emphasised restarting the likes of monthly dementia cafes as a return to normality.

Individual feedback on difficulties caused by restrictions such as visiting those affected by dementia in hospital or care homes, and admission isolation requirements, has enabled us to engage with representatives at Leighton Hospital, the North West ambulance service and for national restrictions via our MP Fiona Bruce, who has been very responsive and supportive.

We have made no progress with re-establishing a peer group for those affected by dementia (such groups were run a few years ago until CEC funding was stopped). This will be taken forward as restrictions allow.

Improving public and local groups awareness through public information campaigns and targeted campaigns

Dementia Friends sessions have been run online via Zoom. These have mainly been run in support of the latest initiative to recognise businesses in Sandbach as dementia friendly. We have developed our own website which went live in April 2021, as well as continuing to publicise our activities in the local press and via our Facebook page.

As part of 2021 Dementia Awareness Week we manned an information stand at the market on 21st and 22nd May. Unfortunately, the weather was poor and footfall very modest. We supported the national Alzheimer’s Society campaign to ‘Cure the Care System’.

We continue to be involved in Cheshire East’s Dementia Strategy Group along with other local Dementia Friendly Community groups. Donal Hegarty is leading our involvement.

Improving business awareness through information giving and to promote dementia friendly businesses

Over the last 3 months, as many businesses re-opened, we have reengaged with them to recognise local businesses that are dementia friendly. We launched this new initiative at the 2021 Sandbach Town Council Annual Meeting (on zoom) and have since leafleted a large number of local shops. We have followed up those showing interest and run a number of dementia friends sessions for staff.

We have recognised a number of businesses as dementia friendly, the most recent being the Waitrose supermarket the week before last. Progress has not been as much as we would have hoped and the immediate future is to understand why and to tailor our approach accordingly.

This will continue to be a focus over the next period.

Supporting the distribution of good quality information about services and activities to service users and carers

2019 target to produce a directory of monthly diary of activities; publicise directory e.g. What’s on in Sandbach; Town Council website.

There has been no progress in the last period in producing such a directory, largely because services and activities have been limited and subject to change. We have focussed on disseminating information from a variety of sources and signposting information and services to those we have been in contact with, mainly virtually via zoom, email or phone, and more recently face to face.

Helping to provide, with others, specific activities to support those living with dementia

2019 target to organise 3 events during year – Easter, Summer, Christmas

We continue to run virtual coffee mornings weekly via zoom and will continue to do so while there is a demand for those.

As restrictions have eased, we restarted small coffee mornings outdoors at Sandbach Rugby Club in April (limited to 6) weekly, prioritising those unable to join the weekly zoom meetings. As restrictions eased further in May, we are now running two coffee mornings a month for up to 30 people outdoors, at Sandbach Rugby Club and at the Market Tavern. Because of the limitations on numbers, this has largely been by invitation for those we’ve been in contact previously. Once restrictions end, we plan to continue running these as a more traditional dementia cafe where anybody can drop in.

Last Friday, we supported an accessible walk in Sandbach Park organised by the Sandbach footpath group in tandem with Grassroots Disability.

At next month’s coffee morning at Sandbach Rugby Club we plan to run a ‘finance for care’ workshop led by Paul Clark and David Garrett. This results from feedback from a number of people affected by their loved ones having to go into long term care over the last 18 months.

Looking further ahead, we are considering running a Christmas 2021 event.

Helping to provide, with others, specific activities to support carers of those living with dementia

2019 target to organise 2 events during the year

No carer-specific events organised to date.

Helping, with others, those living with dementia have better access to local services, events and activities

Target was to liaise with Ashfields, the Police, The Fire Service, the Ambulance Service, CEC, STC, and local bus companies to raise awareness.

There has been active ongoing engagement with Police and Fire & Rescue Service with attendance at DFS steering group meetings and more recently with Ashfields. Correspondence with Ashfields showed that the numbers of patients diagnosed with dementia had decreased by about 50 (or 20%) over the last 18 months of the pandemic. This reflects the lower levels of new diagnoses over the period.

Representatives of North West Ambulance Service, CEC Adult Social Care and the recently appointed social prescriber at Ashfields have attended Zoom meetings with local residents with dementia and their carers during lockdown.

A trickle of new referrals have been contacted and welcomed to the DFS events that have recently been arranged.

Achieving recognition as a dementia friendly community

Target was to register an interest in the award and to work towards achieving it

Sandbach registered with the Alzheimer’s Society as aspiring to become a dementia friendly community in July 2019. Routine updates on progress provided to Alzheimer’s Society via Dementia Friends website. Annual review to maintain registration July 2020 was accepted and the 2021 review is due shortly.

To make the group financially independent

Targets were to adopt a vision statement (done inaugural AGM), adopt a constitution (done inaugural AGM) and seek/apply for relevant funding/fundraising

Current financial position is robust. Continuing donations have been received from local community groups and individuals for which DFS is very grateful.

In November 2020 DFS received a £500 grant to cover costs of activities being run through the pandemic (such as the zoom meetings) and in May 2021 a pledge of £1,000 from past Mayor Mike Muldoon’s charity and good causes fund. We are very grateful to Cllr Muldoon and Sandbach Town Council for this continued support.

Other DFS activities during the period

At the October 2020 AGM, we planned a number of background infrastructure items to progress the aims and objectives of DFS: 1. We have developed our own website which went live in April 2021.

2. We have developed DFS Safeguarding policy and most of the existing steering group members attended a safeguards awareness training session run on zoom by Cheshire East. Rita Weaver has taken on the role of Safeguarding Lead.

3. We investigated the costs and benefits of seeking charitable status but decided this is not a priority for the time being.

Planned Future Activities

Planned future activities have already been outlined above. The emphasis, with feedback from those affected by dementia, is to re-establish normality!


DFS has continued to provide valued support to the community although there is still plenty to do for Sandbach to truly become a dementia friendly community. None of this would have been possible without the support and dedication put in by the members of the committee as well as those non-members who have regularly attended and supported such as PCSO Spike Elliott and PC Steve Dutton, Anna Bignell from Cheshire East Council and Keeley Todd of Sandbach Partnership.

It would also not have been possible without the help of venue hosts such as Sandbach Rugby Club/Symphony catering, Market Tavern and Elworth Cricket Club, volunteers who have helped out for various activities and donors, as acknowledged above.

Thank you all.

Dave Whitworth

Chair, Dementia Friendly Sandbach

5th July 2021