Dementia Care Best Practice - Sycamore Dining Service

For Dementia Action Week from 20-26 May this year, the Housing LIN has gathered examples of where extra care schemes or other housing related community services have supported people with dementia to develop meaningful relationships to prevent unwanted social isolation or reduce loneliness.

The examples range from informal arrangements supported by staff or other residents as well as more formal service provision. Today’s example of best practice comes from Nottingham City Homes.

Sycamore Dining

Sycamore dining brings people together over good quality meals. Customers are encouraged to sit together at large tables, so they mix, get to know each other, and make friends.

The challenge is to get lonely and socially isolated people, such as older people.  People from all backgrounds are encouraged to visit the diner, including people living both with and without dementia.

Our volunteers prepare all meals using surplus food. Not only does this reduce food waste, it means that we are able to make some money from our social eating activities.  All money raised is donated to the City of Nottingham Scout District, and helps fund Scouting activities for young people who might otherwise not be able to afford it.

The dining events take place at a range of venues across the city, usually monthly.   We are working with potential partners to put in place transport arrangements so that we can ensure the most vulnerable of residents can access these community meals. 

The community meals are proving a real success in reducing social isolation, and we have been able to support people with memory problems, including some with a formal diagnosis of dementia.  We are hoping to work in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Group / NHS to have such meals become an integral part of social prescribing.

Note: The views expressed in this feature have been provided by the featured organisations and are not necessarily those of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network. 

If you have any examples from your own organisation that you would like to share please send details to Katey Twyford and Wendy Wells, Housing and Dementia co-leads for the Housing LIN, We will be developing a compendium of best practice examples to go on the Housing LIN website.