Lifeline for people living with dementia wins national award

The Magna Vitae Still Me team members Erica Bowering, Tracey Wilkinson and'Elizabeth Atkin at the awards ceremony.
The Magna Vitae Still Me team members Erica Bowering, Tracey Wilkinson and'Elizabeth Atkin at the awards ceremony.

A project offering a friendly and active lifeline for people living with dementia in East Lindsey, has won a major national award for its work in the community.

Still Me, run by the community arm of the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture and supported by the local charity Louth and District Hospice Limited, took the top award in the Championing Diversity category at the 2019 Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards.

The team in action.

The team in action.

Delighted members of the team attended the ceremony at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in London where they were presented with the honour by journalist and Loose Women star Jane Moore.

“It was a wonderful day and this award is not just in recognition of the work that is done by the team here at Magna Vitae, but is a reflection of all of those living with dementia, along with their friends, relatives and carers, who make our sessions such a wonderful joy to organise,” said Magna Vitae’s Lifestyle Partnership Manager, Tracey Wilkinson

The category, a judges’ award, recognises people, organisations and communities that make a real change to the lives of people with dementia, who champion the cause and are ‘passionate and inspirational, innovators and change-makers’.

Still Me, which recently held its successful Rotary-club funded winter games event at Meridian Leisure Centre, Louth, provides workshops and activities aimed at improving the experiences of those affected by dementia and their carers, with a small team that focuses on what a person is still able to do, not what they can’t.

With bespoke plans for every individual, a whole host of different things are experienced – from swimming, to arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor sports and dancing. To date Still Me has worked with more than 500 people, while also taking a lead on the Louth (East Lindsey) Dementia Action Alliance.

The award’s original submission included comments from participants such as, ‘What a lifesaver!! Still Me is such a very welcome oasis in a difficult life,’ and "I like coming along to the group as I find it relaxing and feel comfortable as everyone understands how I feel and it is so friendly to get together, thank you".

Louth and District Hospice Limited has supported Still Me since its launch three years ago – it was the brainchild of the team there, who wanted to provide a service that was innovative in its approach, with the community at its heart.

“Over its time, the project has gained momentum and the team has been superb in its delivery to people.

We believed it to be crucial to develop a project that moved out into the communities of East Lindsey. Many services are provided from the same buildings time after time, they are static and don’t enable people to be ‘still me’ in their own environments,” said Dale Crombleholme, the Chairman of Trustees of Louth and District Hospice Limited.

“All those who are involved with Louth and District Hospice Limited are united in their vision to offer a broad and varied appeal to our communities and Still Me is an ideal example of this. We are delighted for everyone here and at the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture that it has been recognised on a national level,” he added.

Paul Harrison, Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager for Lincolnshire, said: “It’s brilliant to see the Still Me team winning this award and representing East Lindsey. It is a testament to their tremendous dementia-friendly work.

“There are over 441 Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland ensuring people with dementia are empowered to live a life they want.

“Not only does this team help to reduce isolation and loneliness often felt by people affected by dementia, but their work helps to improve overall wellbeing of those living with the condition.

“All the finalists and winners at the Dementia Friendly Awards have demonstrated how we can unite against dementia and support those affected by the condition.”