The Sheffield Dementia Involvement Group (SHINDIG) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and hosted a party to celebrate the milestone during Dementia Action Week.
Last month attendees, facilitators and guests, gathered to begin a year of celebration. The group, made up of people living with Dementia, those with a diagnosis and carers/supporters, began the event with a shared lunch accompanied with live music from Carrie Allen. SHINDIG events are held quarterly at the Quaker Meeting House, so was the natural environment to celebrate the work that SHINDIG does, with the celebration being planned in collaboration with people living with Dementia.
Following a shared lunch the celebration then turned to what SHINDIG is all about, a judgement free zone to have conversations. This meant the attendees were split into discussion groups which are facilitated by experienced staff/volunteers. The discussions can vary from very specific advice for carers or anecdotal stories from any one involved in SHINDIG. Conversations are then documented and later used to feed into a report that is shared with our community of families being affected by Dementia.
After the pandemic there was a need to review and recruit as the group acknowledged the need to reach a wider audience to share a genuine representation of people living with Dementia across Sheffield. SHINDIG began to go on tour to different community groups to share what it does but also generate conversations about living with Dementia.
SHINDIG was able to show that the group provides a space where people could share their views on topics relating to living with Dementia. Attendees continue to influence change across a range of areas from transport to design, student education to research. One of the most valuable aspects of SHINDIG is the peer support evident as older attendees take the new under their wing and share knowledge.
Coordinator Claire Jepson, who plans and runs each event in collaboration with a small group of people living with Dementia and dedicated volunteers, said: "Our numbers continue to grow and we were joined by four new couples at the anniversary event.
"We are all so happy that SHINDIG has helped be a safe place for people with dementia and hopefully will continue to grow in the next 10 years."