We are so pleased to announce that on the 4th of March 2021, we won two national awards at the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards held at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham. The awards, organised by Care Management Matters and developed in conjunction with the National Care Forum, celebrates the hard work, dedication, innovation and excellence of those working in the not-for-profit sector who are making a positive impact on the lives of those in care. We have shown ourselves as an example of one such organisation going above the fray to make a positive difference.
These milestone recognitions come on the back of the tremendously impactful work we have been doing since 2010 and in particular, over the pandemic. The “Dementia Care Award” celebrates services improving the lives of people living with dementia and their families. For this award, we chose to put forward our dementia-friendly allotment, Bristol’s first and only, set up in the early part of the first lockdown. The allotment has welcomed hundreds of older people, their carers and families, since lockdown restrictions eased, including those living with dementia in the community. This has enabled them to take part in supported gardening activities, meet new people, learn new skills, be active and socialise with others in the community and share gardening knowledge. The allotment has allowed participants to undertake gardening tasks supported by volunteers, and take pride in growing flowers, fruit and vegetables, whilst also having the opportunity to build new friendships and support networks, retain/regain a sense of personal identity and gain a sense of purpose. This is in line with our vision to help build a stronger community for older people with dementia in North Bristol.
Since the pandemic hit, we have worked tirelessly on developing our digital strategy to facilitate easier access for older people and those living with dementia, and their carers. One big move in this direction has been the development of a dementia-friendly video platform called Alive On Demand. The “Technology Award” is in recognition of these efforts, which resulted in the creation of this innovative technology. Alive On Demand is a video-streaming platform with over 200 unique videos and has, since its launch under six months ago, reached close to 1000 older people and carers. The platform was designed with activities staff, care staff, carers and loved ones in mind to help them better engage and spark conversation with older people and learn more about individual and group interests.
The awards were presented by Angela Rippon CBE, who remarked that the judges appreciated the innovative use of technology to engage older people with dementia and were impressed by the breadth of unique content available on Alive On Demand’s platform. On the presentation of the “Dementia Care” award for the allotment, she said that they “loves the way it is person-centred and listens to the opinions and needs of the attendees and that it reaches people of multiple cultures.” She also added that it was very important to celebrate carers and the work that charities do to support the care industry and for those in the industry to know that they aren’t forgotten.
Our CEO Isobel Jones said, “I’m incredibly proud of my team and am grateful for this recognition. The team have gone above and beyond to come up with truly innovative solutions that are responsive to peoples’ needs. As a small, independent charity, winning these two awards is a testament to the hard work and passion we share in improving the lives of older people. This will only empower us to achieve more and continue making a positive difference.”
We are also excited to announce that we have been nominated as a finalist in the Bristol Life Awards “Charity of The Year” category. We have been nominated alongside some fantastic local organisations who are all making an amazing difference in Bristol. Whether we win or not, we already feel like winners to have had this recognition at all. We’re looking forward to getting glammed up for the awards night on 18th May! Good luck to all finalists!