Research has highlighted that faith communities have a key role in offering support to people living with dementia, so their carers and Dementia Friendly Guernsey are delighted to partner with the faith communities in Guernsey to promote dementia friendly churches.
To work toward that, Dementia Friendly Guernsey and the Church of England will be hosting a visit to Guernsey by Sarah Thorpe, Dementia Enabler in the Diocese of Lichfield, today and tomorrow. She has been leading an initiative to support churches to become more dementia friendly across North Shropshire and surrounding areas.
Ms Thorpe will be running a workshop today (16 June) from 10:30 to 15:30 at St Saviours Church which will be open to members from all faith communities within the Bailiwick. This workshop will look at four key areas; pastoral care, buildings and facilities, church services and wider community networks and the role that faith communities play within these.
“We are delighted that so many of the faith communities within the Bailiwick are coming together to learn how they can take steps within their own churches to ensure they are more dementia friendly and play key roles in the work we are doing to ensure that Guernsey as a whole community is dementia friendly," Wayne Bulpitt, Chairperson of Dementia Friendly Guernsey, above, said.
"We know that being able to continue practising their faith in a supportive and understanding way is very important to many people living with dementia and especially for their family and supporters to receive support themselves through those communities."
To date, 23 representatives from many of Guernsey’s faith communities have participated in two tailored dementia awareness sessions.
The aim of the project, which has been particularly successful and recognised across the UK, is that churches will connect with people living with dementia and their carers to create more dementia friendly churches as the heart of dementia friendly communities.
Deacon Mark Leightley of the Roman Catholic Church added: “no community or organisation is immune to the challenges that dementia pose. The excellent short awareness session I recently attended enabled us to bring simple techniques back to our church and parish communities that will enable us to help those living with the condition and their families.”
More information can be found from Reverend Mark Charmley on 263045 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, 17 June, the regular service at St Saviours Church, which will start at 09:30, will include a more general talk by Ms Thorpe on dementia and her work, to which all are welcome.
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