Life Story Network CiC has been awarded a major grant from the Big Lottery Fund to support carers, and former carers, of people living with dementia across the UK, through their pioneering programme ‘tide – together in dementia everyday’. The organisation has been awarded a £1.2million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, which uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions.
There are currently 800,000 people living with dementia and 670,000 unpaid carers of people with dementia in the UK. Two thirds of people with dementia live at home and most are supported by unpaid carers. Unpaid carers of people living with dementia save the state £11bn a year, but many say that they do not have the services and support they need. Over the next three years, the funding will enable carers to connect with each other and to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence to participate as equals. ‘tide’ enables carers to realise the benefits of a collective voice and begin the process of evolution into a social movement of carers to bring about change at all levels of policy, research and practice.
Following a pilot in the North West of England and the establishment of a Scottish network, funded by Life Changes Trust, this funding will allow for the expansion of the network both geographically, and in increasing the diversity of carers represented. tide will roll out in other parts of England, including Liverpool, Manchester and Yorkshire, as well as establishing programmes of work in Wales and Northern Ireland. Additionally, this funding will allow the network to reach into communities that are seldom heard, including: Black and Minority Ethnic communities; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender groups; Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities; young carers; and male carers.
Anna Gaughan, Chief Executive, Life Story Network and tide – together in dementia everyday said:
“This funding means that tide can continue to strengthen and galvanise the collective voice of carers of people with dementia for positive change. It is incredibly important that carers are treated as equals and experts by experience. This funding provides us with the unique opportunity, over the next three years, to tailor our approach to establishing tide in each country, whilst building and drawing on the learning from across the UK.”
While Jean Tottie, Chair and Founding Director, Life Story Network and tide – together in dementia everyday: commented:
“I am delighted that the progress made by tide over the last eighteen months has been recognised and that we have been awarded this substantial grant, so that more carers across the UK can benefit. tide’s work has proved most effective in equipping carers of people with dementia the knowledge, skills and confidence to participate as equals with professionals in a variety of ways. To enable carers to be confident in their caring role or find new roles when caring ceases creates benefits for individuals and society as a whole.”
Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said:
“We’re proud to be using National Lottery funding to increase support for carers of people living with dementia. ‘Together in Dementia Everyday’ empowers carers to use their knowledge and experience to influence the decisions that affect them and those they care for.”
Frank Arrojo is a former carer for his late mum and Co-ordinator of Sudbury, Wembley & Kensal Green Dementia Carers Support Groups, and Carer Representative on the DAA Dementia Friendly Hospital Taskforce, and he said:
“It is great news to find out that tide has secured this funding. This will enable the largest dementia workforce in the country – unpaid carers – to continue to work towards being appreciated, recognised, respected and valued in supporting their loved ones with dementia. Society as a whole needs to learn and understand the critical role unpaid carers undertake, and the emotional, mental and physical pressures they endure in managing the decline of their loved one with dementia (including coming to terms with this and managing themselves). This funding will provide help in continuing to seek to change the attitudes of society as a whole.”
While Janis Cottee, Former carer of my husband Richard, who had Early on set Alzheimer’s said: