A New Year can often feel like a time of change. We write commitments and resolutions to be more active, develop ourselves, lose some things, gain others, transform into the person we once were or would like to be. But the Almanac I received as a kind Christmas gift says that, contrary to popular belief, January is a time for rest, reflection and imaginings, not a time for new beginnings. It gifts us with time to plan and explore possibilities for the coming year.
In one way, Innovations in Dementia enters the New Year at a time of change. We said the fondest of farewells at the end of 2023 to Rachel Niblock who was the DEEP co-ordinator since 2015, and Philly Hare who retired after 8 years as a co-director. New adventures beckon both of them. We remain a small, but steadfast team of three, a number we are familiar with from the early days at Innovations in Dementia. A triangle of Damian, Steve and Rachael – apparently one of the strongest geometric shapes (a triangle that is, not a Damian, Steve and Rachael!)
So, although it may feel like a time of change, we are actually standing strong and stable to continue the work of Innovations in Dementia. Here is a little look to our plans for 2024.
- We are perhaps best known for hosting the DEEP network – the UK wide network of over 80 groups of people with dementia. It remains our privilege to continue to provide the scaffolding to this independent, diverse and rights-based network.
- We also want to build on the success of the Dementia Enquirers programme and find other opportunities for people with dementia to lead, direct and shape dementia research. We will continue to act as a gateway between research and practice and people with dementia
- We want to build on our Dementia Diaries programme to include more dementia voices in different formats, and to expand this personal archive
- We will continue to work in health, social care and third sector systems to influence practice particularly through our Good Life with Dementia and Getting Along programmes
- We will be launching our guide to writing accessibly for people with dementia later in January (watch this space!) and remind you to make the most of all our freely available resources at Innovations in Dementia, Dementia Enquirers, DEEP, Dementia Creatives and Dementia Diaries
- We will be building on work around self-management (e.g My Life, My Goals), work with libraries and counselling with people with dementia.
- Most importantly we will continue to work with people with dementia to define and design projects around issues that are important to them – centring on rights, accessibility, dementia voices, belonging, recovery and discovery.
In the meantime, if you would like to rest, reflect and imagine with us, do get in touch.
With our best wishes
Steve, Damian and Rachael