Location: Coventry

About: Specially trained volunteers visit clients once a week for a minimum of two hours and can either spend time in the home or accompany the older person to an activity. Clients choose what they would like to do with the time, and activities include anything from tea and chat; to attending a friendship group or craft activity; to going to lunch or for a walk; to doing some baking.

The overall aim of the scheme is to support people to live well with dementia. Referrals are received from a variety of sources including older people and family members, as well as Alzheimer’s Society, local Memory Services team; Social Services and other teams at Age UK Coventry.

The project was initially funded by NHS Coventry, but this finished in 2012. Since then it has been funded through a legacy and money from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All scheme.

The scheme is volunteer-led and overseen by the Friendship Development Officer. A rough estimate of the cost of an hourly home visit is £10. The scheme collects feedback from clients each year and the pilot phase of the project was subject to both internal and external evaluations, which found that clients reported a range of outcomes related to improved social contact, increased activity, and improved wellbeing.

Participant Quote:

“We can talk about anything, football, boxing and he helps me out with things, he made me a telephone list so that I can see it and he helps me sort out my appointments, I can’t remember them, but he helps me, he explains it to me, and that helps.”

Who: Age UK Coventry

Age UK Coventry
7 Warwick Row
Coventry, CV1 1EX

Tel: 02476 433977

Web: www.ageuk.org.uk/coventry/dementia-friendship-scheme/