The ‘Kingfisher Buddies’ project is funded by the Big Lottery, to support older people in Sandwell who are in the early stages of dementia. The project is delivered by Agewell, in partnership with Dementia Pathfinders CIC.

‘Kingfisher Buddies’ provides vital support, information and guidance both pre, and post, diagnosis and delivers a range of appropriate and meaningful weekly activities for people in the early stages of dementia and their carers, to help improve their quality of life.

 

The aims of the project are:

Support you in seeking a diagnosis

Be there to provide the advice and support you need to take it all in

Guide you and your family through what can be done now to better prepare for the future

Encourage you, and your carers, to take part in one of our enjoyable weekly activities

Help you to make the most of your life post diagnosis

 

Since its launch in April 2017, more than 50 people with a diagnosis of dementia have been referred to the project’s Community Pathfinders, who have been helping individuals to integrate into local community activities and groups, supporting them to continue to live life as fully as possible and to do the things they love. More than 20 carers have used the project to access vital information, guidance and support to help them care for a loved one both pre, and post diagnosis. 

 

 

Agewell’s Sandra Graham and Deb Pierson are the Kingfisher Buddies Community Pathfinders.

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Deb Pierson                                        Sandra Graham

Debra has worked for Agewell since 2015, initially as an Older Persons Champion helping older people to improve their quality of life, addressing issues affecting their health and general wellbeing and now as a Community Pathfinder with Kingfisher Buddies.
Debra, who has 15 years’ experience working in community engagement and involvement, supporting older and vulnerable adults, says: “I am enjoying setting up groups and activities for people with a diagnosis of dementia and their family and friends, allowing them to have an enjoyable, informative and supportive place to go”.

Sandra has been seconded to Agewell three days a week from her job as Resources Co-ordinator for partner organisation, Dementia Pathfinders. 
Sandra, who has personal experience of caring for a loved one with dementia, says: “I’ve worked for organisations involved in supporting people with dementia since 2005 and it is very much a passion of mine. I’m really enjoying getting out and meeting people and helping them to find ways of reducing the social isolation that can come with a diagnosis of dementia”