Alive started as one man’s vision in 2009 who, from personal experience, saw care for those living with dementia at home and in care homes needed to be improved and overhauled. Tim Lloyd-Yeates saw older people not being provided with the opportunities, engagement and activity they needed and not being treated with the dignity they deserved. He was a powerful force and made a huge impact in the world of older people’s care. He had the ability to speak uncomfortable truths with humility and authority – and people always remembered his words and his presence. This was helped by the fact he was 6”7 and wore very brightly coloured shirts! Tim unfortunately passed away in 2015 from leukaemia, but his legacy carries on and Alive runs with the same passion, dedication, commitment and love that he poured into the Charity when it first began.
Alive grew quickly from Tim’s own vision and was providing a varied range of activity sessions to over 350 care homes in the Bristol and surrounding counties: West Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. The variety of sessions included art, poetry, variety hour, reminiscence, music, tai chi and exercise. We merged with Growing Support in 2018 to then add horticultural therapy to our offering. Alive began to develop our training programme to ensure the right level of activity was taking place throughout the day and each home was using the whole home approach. National recognition was received at the National Dementia Care Awards in 2018 and 2019 for our different training offerings, including the development of our Coaching Programme, which aimed to provide a hands-on training approach. The charity was also awarded in 2019 with “Most Innovative Older Care Provider” in the South West. Pioneering the use of iPads with older people, especially those living with dementia, led us to continue to use them regularly in all their sessions. We have continued innovation through project work, developing intergenerational sessions and community integration. Alive also began to share its work with the public and not just the Care Sector as it became Radio Bristol’s Charity of the Year in 2018.
Following a restructure in 2020 to mirror sector changes and challenges, Alive began to offer different kinds of sessions in care homes and work more with people still living at home who were either vulnerable and/or living with dementia. We developed Alive Clubs to bring in people from the community into care homes and launched Meeting Centres, for those still living in the community. Alive continues to look for ways of innovating activity and engagement with older people – both in care homes and at home. In the pandemic of 2020, we developed remote activity sessions in to Care Homes which has enabled us to take our growth beyond geographical boundaries. Alive on Demand was launched, a subscription-based activity service supporting care homes through sessions and training. Our community gardening in 2021 grew with the development and launch of the Dementia Friendly Allotment. We won further recognition in 2022 at the Markel 3rd Sector Awards winning the Dementia Care and Technology Development awards.
We will continue to evolve, try new innovative and creative approaches – all keeping to Tim’s ethos of bringing joy and meaning to older people in care and at home and lighting up later life.