There are currently over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and this is forecast to be over 1 million by 2025. With an ageing congregation in many churches and ministries reaching into many care homes where there are people with dementia, now is the time to act. We know that there are now many different styles of church, both building and service type, some of which people think are completely inaccessible to someone with dementia. However, we believe that any style of service or type of building can still be a welcoming loving place, with some small tweaks for someone living with dementia. After all the church is not primarily about the building or the style, but the people. If a church can make a small shift, this can open it up to those with dementia and their carers and families, who often feel very alone and unsupported.
With training and support we can help churches and their leaders understand dementia more fully and start to help equip them as they minister in this area. With our help, leaders will have the resources and tools they need to minister to those living with dementia. We will ensure that their building is fully accessible for the person with dementia and we can support the church leader in setting up dementia friend aware pastoral care support teams.
The result of this is:
A person living with dementia will feel welcome and supported by their church family
Their carer will hopefully find some respite in church rather than a struggle
If they deteriorate beyond feeling capable of continuing to attend a normal service, the church leader will have the tools and understanding in order to offer an alternative dementia friendly service or have tools to help keep them connected into the church family .
Whilst we have some funding to get this project off the ground, in order for it to remain sustainable we need more. We would love to be able to take on a full time coordinator. They will develop and work with an army of volunteer Dementia Friendly Church Ambassadors across the UK, to develop the concept and to spread the word. In addition, we will require some funds to ensure that we can keep the resources flowing.
We are a relatively small charity looking to have a UK wide impact.
Please help us to deliver Dementia Friendly Churches to all by supporting this fundraising campaign.
For more information please look at our website.