Since 2009, Andover Mind has been delivering dementia advice to communities across areas of Hampshire and we were therefore delighted to be expanding our remit to supporting all adult carers following a successful tender bid in 2019. The new Carer Support and Dementia Advice contract was awarded and commissioned by Hampshire County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Groups and is for three years with the possibility of a further two years. Launching on the 1st September 2019, the new service saw our staff team expand from 12 to 35. It has also meant new areas for us to deliver in, such as the NEw Forest and South East Hampshire, as well as Fareham and Gosport.
The service so far
We have learnt a lot in delivering services and part of the work leading up to the launch of this contract was our proposed referrals and enquiries team. Although in development, the team is fully established and has been a pivotal aspect of the service’s launch and delivery. Although still early days, we have achieved so much already and are excited to implement new and innovative offerings for both people with dementia and adult carers. We are hoping to launch Spring social events in the near future and are busy planning for Dementia Action Week and Carers Awareness Week later this year.
We also have plans to carry out a volunteer recruitment drive later this year, with a focus on community champions who may be able to help those who are socially isolated and facing barriers to accessing their everyday community.
We are working with main employers in Hampshire to raise the carer profile in the workplace and ensure that those carers in employment are supported as much as possible. We attended and supported an SSE employee Welfare Day in October and this was a huge success so we hope to roll this out to other employers across the country.