Accessibility to coastal places for people living with Dementia training
Case Study Type:
Public Engagement Case Study
Sand dune system:
Dunes in Wales
Case Study Subject:
Accessibility to coastal places for people living with Dementia training and networking training workshop hosted by Plantlife projects Dynamic Dunescapes and Green Links Bridgend
About The Dune System Engagement Intervention
Site background information
Part of the Dynamic Dunescapes programme of engagement specifically focuses on addressing barriers for key stakeholder groups with relation to accessing coastal spaces and engaging in nature conservation activities/interventions. Training for partner staff as part of Wales’ engagement programme was part of planned activities to raise awareness relating to these barriers. By improving access to coastal spaces and running carefully curated events, people with dementia and their carers can meet and feel less isolated. Furthermore, training for site managers and key stakeholders enables professionals to feel more confident in ensuring activities are advertised and developed in an inclusive way.
The aims were that:
- People managing the sites and creating events will learn and develop their understanding and skills, then work to improve a site or event’s inclusivity.
- More people and a wider range of people will then be able to engage with sand dunes and their heritage as a result.
- Some attitudes and/or behaviour might change positively in relation to creating a dementia-accessible space.
- With the increased understanding of inclusivity and accessibility requirements, the necessary information can be developed to help people make informed decisions about visiting coastal spaces.
- The local area / community will be a better place to live, work or visit following this training.
What was the change you hoped to make?
- To raise awareness of barriers which exist to people living with Dementia and their carers.
- To share information on the effect of dementia on the individual and the benefits of experiences in nature.
- To train or advise staff, community members and volunteers in how to determine if an activity or site is accessible to a person living with dementia or their carers.
- To start the process of people thinking about accessibility, and whether site accessibility can be improved to make the area more inclusive.
- To create an opportunity for professional networking and knowledge exchange.
What was the suggested intervention?
We ran a training session for partners and key stakeholders, such as site managers and volunteer groups, to raise awareness of the challenges associated with Dementia, and how to connect with local groups which would help audit sites for accessibility. Training was based on materials produced by the charity Dementia Adventure, for the Dynamic Dunescapes Project.
Due to the amount of interest from local partners, the session which was initially planned to be internal to the Dynamic Dunescapes project evolved to welcome external stakeholders and projects. In development of the workshop we were keen to ensure that the session:
- Was presented by people with the right expertise.
- Would enable networking.
- Would raise awareness and get people thinking.
What did you do and how?
We consulted with conservation sector staff and staff working in the care sector to best determine what format the training should take and what and content would be useful to include.
We approached a diverse range of speakers and worked with multiple different organisations to put together a 2.5 hour online workshop. The workshop itself also then then developed based on experiences within the presenter team e.g. site auditing with Dementia activity organisations, and event staff who can the dunes into care homes.
Initial talks focused on themes from experts in care, social inclusion and the benefits of nature to heath, including raising awareness of Dementia and exploring why access to nature is important for people living with dementia.
This was followed by case studies from staff working in coastal event engagement, site management and care & support. Sessions looked at accessibility in events including the use of site audits & dementia friendly walks at the coast and in sand dunes, and highlighting the existence and role of networks like Carers Creative – a CIC for carers – and sharing case studies such as bringing the dunes into care homes.
How did you do engage different groups and who did you work with?
- ENLIVEN Project
- Bangor University staff
- Carers creative
- Dynamic Dunescapes Sefton
- Dynamic Dunescapes Wales
- Plantlife – Green links Bridgend
By working with representatives from both sectors we were able to better reach out to relevant stakeholder contact and encourage advertisement of the event across their networks. We also promoted the event across various newsletters and social media platforms. The care sector teams were key in ‘getting the word out’ to staff from the health care sector. At the beginning sign up was skewed toward conservation/land management staff. It was positive to see that interest was incredibly high and the session had 41 attendees plus 5 speakers. 58 signed up and resources have gone beyond that via mailing lists.
How was the event monitored?
We recorded the number of attendees. Feedback was ascertained via bespoke questionnaires and a following up questionnaire is planned several months’ time.
What modifications, if any, did you make to your initial plan and why?
During the session we made a few modifications dependent on how engaged attendees were in asking questions. Prior to the event we sent out a ‘pre networking’ document (a live Google form) asking for name, region, project, which was very well received. During the session, once attendees understood more clearly the aims of the session, we asked people to then add their emails to the document if they would like. The document was only shared with those who actually signed up and is private to that event, and was a useful tool in encouraging networking.
How much did the intervention cost?
There was no cost, all participants contributed the time from their own time
Highlight any issues/obstacles & how you overcame them?
Some registered participants did not attend on the day, but we have recorded the full event to share. We have reflected that in the future all events like this should be minimum 3 hours, but must include breaks. Realistically, the session, if in person could be a full day but it is difficult to facilitate such a session online.
Did the intervention work?
Please describe how. What has changed?
The event demonstrated the desire for further events, support and information of this nature, in particular celebration and sharing events. This was shared with partners who were involved in presenting or planning.
As a project we are exploring how else to conduct more site audits, develop accessible events and ensure that our sites have the necessary information to enable people to make an informed decision about their visit to a location and that this information is easily accessible
Messages from those that were involved in presenting or planning:
- Much of my work is based more so on businesses than nature management, the session and networking was very insightful.
Comments from attendees
- I just wanted to congratulate you on a really good webinar yesterday – it was insightful, useful and inspiring.I can see a lot of good hard work was put into it , please pass on my feedback to the rest of the guest speakers.The contact sheet was a great idea too, already had one follow up about the accessibility project we talked about.
- Superb webinar.
- I really liked the networking sheet, thanks for a great webinar.