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Proud to be part of the University of Worcester’s national development of Meeting Centres

We are proud to support the introduction of innovative new models of care and sharing our insight, by featuring on the University of Worcester’s National Reference Group for the development of Meeting Centres.

Meeting Centres are a community-based resource for people living with and their loved ones. At the heart of the Meeting Centre model is a social club, where people come together to have fun, talk to others and receive help that focus on their specific needs. They aim to offer warm and friendly expert help to people living with dementia, and their loved ones, and to support people to adjust to the challenges that the condition brings.

The services play a vital role in creating dementia friendly communities. Meeting Centres were first introduced in the Netherlands 25 years ago and have been successfully replicated in more than 150 sites across the nation. With a strong academic evidence base that demonstrates their impact in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, as well as delivering a reduction in symptoms of distress, the model is beinWeg rolled out internationally.

The University Of Worcester are forming plans, with key stakeholders from across the dementia care sector, to develop up to 30 new Meeting Centres across the UK, following the initial successful pilot of two demonstrator services in 2015-16. Community Integrated Care is proud to be supporting these plans as a member of the National Reference Group for this three-year project.

On Tuesday 23rd October, the first Reference Group meeting took place at the University, exploring the Meeting Centres model, routes for funding and delivery, and opportunities for cross-sector partnerships to implement the programme.

Martin McGuigan, Director of Quality and Innovation, says: “It is a privilege for Community Integrated Care to have the opportunity to be part of the national group that can help to introduce this important model of support to the UK. At Community Integrated Care, we have a real interest in developing services that make a genuine difference to the lives of people with dementia and their loved ones, supporting them from the earliest points of diagnosis.

To see a model that promotes independence, social inclusion and carer wellbeing is naturally very interesting to our charity, so we are committed to playing an active role in this group. The Meeting Centre approach has many parallels with the wonderful community engagement, activity and carer support approaches delivered at Age-Exchange, and the aim of our EachStep dementia care service to be with people from diagnosis until the end of their lives. We are excited to see how this project develops over the coming three years and to explore how Community Integrated Care can contribute to this programme.”

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