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Thanks to support from The Community Fund of Staffordshire and National Emergency Trust, Approach, have been granted £3,730 from the NET Coronavirus Appeal to support those with dementia and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keen to find innovative ways to support their service users, Approach, along with support from Dougie Mac have launched a project to allow people with dementia and their loved ones to take part in at home activities; allowing for interaction and diversional therapy.

In line with Government guidance, Approach ceased offering their face-to-face specialist dementia services in March; instead offering telephone well-being calls to service users and their families and training sessions via Zoom for family carers to seek advice, support and information.

Looking for ways to continue to enhance the support, Approach and Dougie Mac turned to the Covid-19 Emergency Fund to support their new initiative; Dementia Activity Packs.

Mel Baines, Dementia Liaison Officer who is supporting the project said: “Most of our service users have been self-isolating and as the weeks have stretched on, finding things to keep people occupied has become difficult. So we developed the project to support our service users individual hobbies or interests in the hope we can make things a little easier at home while all social gatherings are cancelled.”

The activities will be highly personal, dependant on the interests of the user and can be incorporated into their daily routine; removing the stress of planning different activities from the carer.

Mel continued: “We’ve already provided a football themed pack including DVD’s and books about Stoke City Football Club. One carer said that her husband had lost interest in everything but that the package had cheered him up and given him something constructive to think about.”

Approach and Dougie Mac are now calling for donations of suitable items to be included in themed activity packs such as:

Gardening- small plant pots, bulbs, seeds, compost

Art- Pencil crayons, wax crayons, felt tip pens, adult colouring books

Music- Photographs of local nightclubs from 1970’s, old music memorabilia, Motown/Northern Soul/50’s/60’s CDs

Horse racing- Horse racing memorabilia

Knitting- Wool, knitting needles, knitting patterns

Puzzles and Games- Board games, quiz and word search books, playing cards

Relaxation- Scented candles, Bath and body products, aromatherapy, mindfulness/Yoga books

Football- Memorabilia including photographs, books, videos of local Staffordshire football teams

Approach and Dougie Mac are also keen to hear from anyone who would like to support the project as a volunteer, offering telephone conversation around shared hobbies and interests.

To donate activity items or to express an interest in volunteering, please contact Mel Baines on 01782 344300 or

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