Connected communities

“This is a beautiful community – I felt immediately welcomed and comfortable” said Ronald Amanze, addressing the audience in the opening session of NAPA’s Year of Connected Communities Conference in London on 6 June 2023. He and his close friend Christine Maddocks (both are living well with dementia) answered the question from Hilary Woodhead, NAPA’s Executive Director: “What does community mean to you?”

“It means being accepted for who we are”, said Christine, and she and Ronald agreed that if they needed care it must be somewhere they can be happy and part of everything, with creativity – music, arts and crafts – involved.

In a lively day, participants (mainly activity providers/lifestyle leads in care homes) shared good practice and learned from each other’s experience, especially on linking with their local communities through libraries, museums and local groups of all kinds, including huge benefits that can come from offering space to local groups for gardening or other activities in a care home’s grounds.