Alan Volunteers to Support Bryan Living with Dementia

Alan Volunteers to Support Bryan Living with Dementia

Alan who has recently retired, has been visiting Bryan who has dementia for nearly a year now. Bryan lives with his wife a few streets away.

Bryan was a carpenter and he is very happy pottering around with bits and pieces.

He takes an interest in the outside world, particularly the exteriors of buildings. This is because of his career in building refurbishment. Bryan is a physically active man who likes to be on his feet. In truth, he doesn’t like to sit still! With this in mind, Alan has taken his lead and makes sure that he and Bryan go out and about on his weekly visits. This was a challenge through the cold Winter months but even then, Bryan was keen to go out. They take the dog for a walk, visit the local pub or take a bus to a café in Bromley or to the garden centre at Swanley. If the weather is really bad, they play board games at home.

Bryan benefits from some male company with someone who understands dementia and has patience and understanding and Alan benefits too:

“I enjoy my time with Bryan and I am happy to volunteer two hours of my week to take him out. It’s also good to give his family a break from their caring responsibilities.”

 The Bromley Dementia Support Hub is always looking for Dementia Befrienders to offer one to one companionship for people recently diagnosed with dementia, to support them with activities in the home and local community.

The need is great and we welcome both men and women and we would like to see more men coming forward.

Eleanor Beardsley, Volunteer Befriending Worker with the Bromley Dementia Support Hub, 

“Our befriending service depends on volunteers giving a few hours of their time a week to spend with people with dementia. Without befriending support, many people experience loneliness and isolation, both of which have been recognised as harmful to health. The service does help people diagnosed with dementia have more social interaction, increasing their confidence, do more and live as well as possible with dementia.”

With ongoing support and training, find out more about joining our team of Volunteer Dementia Befrienders. Contact Eleanor Beardsley on 020 8315 1871 or

Bromley Business and Dementia Event

The Bromley Dementia Action Alliance (BDAA) is inviting local businesses in Bromley to a “Dementia Means Business” event as part of its third annual meeting.

The event will take place on Tuesday 16th October 2018, 12pm – 2.30pm at Crofton Halls, Orpington, BR6 8PR.

The BDAA is arranging a programme packed with information, advice and personal experience with keynote speaker, Emma Bould, author of the Dementia-Friendly Business Guide.

To reserve a place book at Eventbrite and use password BDAA.

Bromley Dementia Action Week 2018

Bromley Dementia Action Week 2018

Dementia Action Week ran from 21 – 27 May 2018 and there were many events taking place across the London Borough of Bromley to raise awareness about dementia and encourage people, businesses and organisations to take action to support people affected by dementia.




Orpington town centre was once again at the heart of Dementia Action Week events in Bromley borough. Led by Orpington 1st and the Bromley Dementia Support Hub,  there were multiple events in and around Orpington High Street.

Local businesses and organisations were invited to the Virtual Dementia Tour on Orpington High Street – a powerful, interactive experience of what it can be like to have dementia. 26 people from local businesses had their sight, hearing, touch and mobility temporarily impaired, to experience how dementia may affect a person and cause problems in their everyday lives. The experience helped better understand how their business and organisations can better support people living with dementia and the dementia is much more than just memory loss.

Tesco Orpington held a Dementia Fair for the general public, hosting stalls from local dementia charities and services, providing information to customers with about the support available to both people living with dementia and their carers.

Read more about Orpington Dementia Action Week events.


Animal Therapy, Music and Dance at Bromley MindCare Dementia Support

Elderly man dancing with carers

Bromley MindCare Dementia Support Centres ran music, dance and animal-assisted therapy events to help people at the centre to live well with dementia.

Read and see more.


Celebrating the Royal Wedding with Mytime Active

People celebrating the Royal Wedding during Dementia Action Week

Over 85 people attended an indoor street party to celebrate both the Royal Wedding and Dementia Action Week 2018 run by Mytime Active. The Crofton Halls venue was festooned with bunting and we were all treated to performances from Primetime tap dancers and a live three-piece band, whilst guests enjoyed afternoon tea and cake.

Paul Robson and his Mytime Active team were awarded the ‘Forget Me Not’ sticker to display at The Walnuts Leisure Centre in Orpington. The Walnuts is the first Mytime Active leisure centre to receive this recognition as a dementia-friendly business.

Ann Wilbourn and Chris King have created over 150 Dementia Friends in the borough 27 of those were during Dementia Action Week at Dementia Friends sessions led by Chris. Biggin Hill, The Pavilion, Beckenham Public Hall and West Wickham Leisure Centres have all started the journey to becoming recognised as dementia-friendly sites.


Service at St James the Great Church

On Sunday 20th May, a service was held at St James the Great Church in Petts Wood to mark the start of Dementia Awareness Week. Led by Father David Camilleri, it was a beautiful time of poetry, singing and prayer with an opportunity for our guests to receive a blessing from Father David should they so wish. The service was followed by refreshments served by the church’s Girl Guide unit and helping them towards earning their Community Badge. The occasion reflected the importance of reaching out and caring for the wider community.


Dementia Action Week at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH)

Staff at the Princess Royal University Hospital on Farnborough Common in Orpington, launched Dementia Action Week 2018 also celebrating the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with patients on some wards. Music, songs, quizzes and reminiscence activities gave patients the change to get together and chat with each other on Friday 18th May.

Princess Royal University Hospital staff at the cake and information stand during Dementia Action Week 2018

Three other days during Dementia Action Week saw Princess Royal University Hospital host a cake and dementia information stand. Staff had enthusiastically overwhelmed the stand with home baked cakes exchanged for donations from people visiting the stand. All donations will go towards purchasing activities for our dementia patients in the hospital.



Co-op Cash Helps West Wickham’s Memory Box Dementia Cafe

Co-op Cash Helps West Wickham’s Memory Box Dementia Cafe

Pictured above: Ann Jones (Co-operative Funeralcare, West Wickham) Cllr Kathy Bance (Mayor of Bromley), Lyn Eustace (Chair of Memory Box Dementia Café), Unity Slade Howard President of Ravenswood (West Wickham) WI and Neil Ingole (Co-op Food Stores, Coney Hall)

The Memory Box Café for people living with dementia based in West Wickham now plans to run twice a month thanks to extra funds from the Co-op Local Community Fund.

Bromley Mayor Councillor Kathy Bance, who visited Memory Box Dementia Café in November 2017, presented a cheque from the Co-op for £2,300.66 to Ravenswood (West Wickham) Women’s Institute (WI) outside the Co-op Food Store at Coney Hall on Saturday 25th November 2017.

Ravenswood (West Wickham) WI runs Memory Box Café at the Emmanuel Church in The Grove, West Wickham. This money raised by Co-op Coney Hall, along with other fundraising, will allow the Cafe to run twice a month from February, on the first and third Friday of each month.

The Memory Box Café is run by volunteers and, for the past 18 months, has provided free entertainment, information, fun and refreshments for people living with dementia and their carers.

The project is part of Ravenswood (West Wickham) WI’s work to make West Wickham a dementia friendly community.

Bromley Officially Recognised as Working to Become a Dementia Friendly Community

Bromley Officially Recognised as Working to Become a Dementia Friendly Community

(Picture above from left to right: Angela Clayton-Turner (co-chair of BDAA), Mayor of Bromley – Cllr Kathy Bance MBE, Samantha Buckland (co-chair of BDAA))


Bromley borough was officially recognised as working towards becoming a dementia friendly community at the Bromley Dementia Action Alliance (BDAA) Second Annual Meeting on Tuesday 17th October 2017.


What is a Dementia Friendly Community?

Dementia Friendly Communities is an Alzheimer’s Society programme to get everyone, from governments and large companies to local small businesses, schools and public services, share part of the responsibility so people with dementia feel understood, valued and can live and contribute to their community.

Local communities have to meet certain criteria to show what they are doing to make their local community dementia friendly.


What Bromley has been doing to become Dementia Friendly

Since October 2015, numerous charities, statutory and public services, care homes, shopping centres and other private companies have become members of the Bromley Dementia Action Alliance.

Most recently, for Dementia Awareness Week 2017, more than 16 local, cross-sector partners came together to raise awareness about dementia in Bromley borough. The event reached hundreds of Bromley residents during the week with events including:

  1. Tesco Orpington hosting local charities and businesses providing information to the general public about dementia and local support services
  2. A reality-altering, virtual dementia experience of what it may be like to live with dementia for local businesses, councillors, emergency services and health/social care professionals
  3. Dementia Friends sessions being held across the borough
  4. Odeon Cinema and London Film Archives dementia friendly film screenings
  5. Arts and science workshops, related to living with dementia.

(Read more about Bromley Dementia Awareness Week events and news.)


Virtual Dementia Tour Bus Comes to Bromley Again

The work to make Bromley a dementia friendly community has continued with another virtual dementia experience in Bromley town centre on Monday 9th October 2017.

People from the Emergency Services, Your Bromley, Age UK Bromley & Greenwich, local hospices and care homes, social workers, MyTime Active and the Mayor of Bromley had an eye-opening experience of what it may be like to have dementia on the Virtual Dementia Bus.


Orpington Businesses Becoming Dementia Friendly

Orpington continues to lead the way for local businesses making Bromley borough a dementia friendly community.

Orpington 1st is encouraging more local businesses in and around Orpington High Street to become dementia friendly with the launch of the new, annual Clayton-Turner Award in 2018. This award will go to one of the local businesses signing up to the BDAA and taking action to become more dementia friendly.


Innovation in Dementia Care Event

Bromley joined seven other London boroughs in being recognised as a local community working towards becoming more dementia friendly at the BDAA Innovation in Dementia Care event on 17th October 2017, held at the Bromley Civic Centre.

Opening the event with Angela Clayton-Turner, Samantha Buckland of the BDAA, said that with Bromley borough’s recognition and award, London is well on the way to becoming dementia friendly by 2020, with other London boroughs showing interest and working towards establishing themselves as dementia friendly communities.


Making it Easier for Bromley Residents to Access Dementia Support

Nikki Fishman, from the Bromley Dementia Support Hub, spoke about the role of the Hub in making it easier for Bromley residents diagnosed with dementia and their carers to access the support they need.

In the first 12 months of operation, the Hub has:

  • received over 1,500 new enquiries
  • run 35 workshops for family and friend carers, teaching them more about dementia, how it progresses and affects a person, effective communication skills and how to look after themselves
  • delivered four Cognitive Stimulation Therapy courses (six session for each course) for people with mild to moderate dementia
  • held 75 one-to-one, home-based, coaching sessions for 143 carers, supporting them to care for family or friends with dementia.

A Carer’s Perspective of Dementia

Lorraine McGlone cared for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s disease, for several years before he passed away. Lorraine shared how she saw her loving, well respected and professionally accomplished husband initially deteriorate slowly in his 50s.

Lorraine’s very personal talk moved everyone in the hall, reminding everyone that:

  1. dementia is not just about memory – symptoms often come in other forms – and we all need to be aware of these to be able to recognise them as early as possible
  2. there is a huge human impact of dementia on people’s personalities, identity and relationships
  3. caring for someone with dementia is a mammoth task for family carers who all provide invaluable care, that would otherwise costs tens of thousands of pounds, out of love and compassion.


The Importance of People in Dementia Care

Dementia ambassador and speaker, Keith Oliver, reiterated the point of remembering the human aspect of providing dementia support.

A former Head Teacher, Keith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 55 years old. After attempting to continue work, Keith decided to speak and write about his experience of dementia (including charities, health and social care professionals, and the United Nations (UN) Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities).

Keith reminded the audience that everyone experiences dementia differently – there are things he did seven years ago when he was diagnosed, that he can’t do now. With the right support, people living with dementia can continue to live their lives and contribute valuable insights to our collective understanding of dementia.

Keith also emphasised that dementia is more than just clinical symptoms and diagnosis. Keith asked dementia health and social care professionals to engage with the person beyond the dementia and to involve them – understanding the whole person, their history, identity, culture, personal traits – to provide the best possible dementia care.

BDAA Second Meeting Speaker with the Chair of BDAA

(From left to right: Lorraine McGlone, Keith Oliver, Angela Clayton-Turner)

Bromley Metropolitan Police Reducing Risk to Missing People with Dementia

The Innovation in Dementia Care event was attended by Inspector Phyllis Rooney of the Bromley Metropolitan Police, sharing how they are using the Herbert Protocol.

The Herbert Protocol consists of an official form to be completed in advanced of anyone with dementia potentially going missing. It can be used by family carers or professional care providers to provide up-to-date details of a person’s habits, places to visit etc, so they can be found as quickly as possible.

Bromley MyTime Active Helping People with Dementia Stay Active

Photo of Bromley MyTime Active team with the Mayor of Bromley and Lorraine McGlone

Bromley MyTime Active team with the Mayor of Bromley and Lorraine McGlone

Chris King and colleagues from MyTime Active shared how their leisure centres in Bromley borough have been becoming dementia friendly, providing dementia friendly buddies to support people with dementia to engage in activities at the centres, whilst family carers take a break from caring.


How the NHS is Supporting People with Dementia

Staff from Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust spoke about how the Occupational Therapy team support people with dementia to live in their own homes. Assistive Technologies have a role to play in this, using data and monitoring to ensure that people with dementia are staying active and healthy as possible. Answering questions from the the audience, Oxleas NHS Foundation did emphasise that Assistive Technologies should be just that – assistive. They should not replace or be a substitute for in-person care for people with dementia and technology should only be used as a supporting tool.


Red Bags Helping NHS and Care Homes Work Better Together

Photo of Red Bag Launch in Bromley

(from left to right: Christine Harger, Don Shenker, Angela Bhan)

In the afternoon, the Innovation in Dementia Care event was chaired by Angela Bhan, Chief Officer of NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Christine Harger (Quality Assurance Manager at NHS Sutton CCG), and Don Shenker (Healthy Ageing Project Manager at South London Health Innovation Network) shared details of the Red Bag scheme, to help people living in Sutton care homes receive quick and effective treatment if they need to go into hospital in an emergency.

When a care home resident needs to go into hospital, a red bag containing their personal belongings, personal details, information on health conditions, medication and a change of clothes is packed for them. The Red Bag also contains a “This Is Me” document which stays with the resident throughout their hospital stay and contains information on the individual’s preferences, likes, dislikes and interests.

The Red Bag stays with the patient whilst they are in hospital and with all the necessary information included, the care home resident can be treated more effectively, quickly and with more dignity when they go into hospital. This new approach had led to older people spending less time in hospital – eight days on average, which is four days fewer than before the scheme started.


Esther Watts, Senior Officer Dementia Friendly Communities – London at Alzheimer’s Society, commented on Bromley being recognised as a dementia friendly community:

“Alzheimer’s Society has challenged the Mayor and all Londoners to help us make London the first dementia friendly capital city in the world by 2020.  Organisations like the Bromley Dementia Action Alliance are doing just that.  We are making brilliant progress in London with more and more communities having their work recognised as working towards becoming dementia friendly.


Well done Bromley!


We are celebrating all the work you have done, and events like this also help us hatch more plans for the future. There is a lot to celebrate and a lot to do!


On a London level, we are working with transport organisations: Transport for London through their accessibility team, their bus driver communications department including with individual bus garages; we are working with community transport organisations across London, taxi companies and the London Taxi Drivers’ Association and, not forgetting, patient transport.


We are also working with the Emergency Services on systems to help people with dementia, for example, the roll-out of the Herbert Protocol in boroughs where there is no other system to find people more quickly if they get lost and are living with dementia. We know that your Alliance is also working hard with these services to make their staff Dementia Friends.


Thank you, Bromley, together we will make London a dementia friendly city!