21. Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP), England


United Kingdom

Who is involved:

The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project network (DEEP) is supported and coordinated by Innovations in Dementia (iD), in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. iD is a community interest company that works nationally with people with dementia, partner organisations and professionals with the aim of developing and testing projects that will enhance the lives of people with dementia. The Mental Health Foundation is a UK social research and development non-governmental organisation.

Nature of activity:

DEEP is a network of independent groups led by or actively involving people with dementia. DEEP groups are involved in activities aimed at influencing services and policies affecting the lives of people with dementia, and the communities where they live. There are over 60 groups that are part of the network, ranging from small local groups up to national groups (such as EDUCATE and the Scottish Dementia Working Group). Examples of activities include consultations on national policies, training staff, speaking at conferences and through the media. Some groups employ people with dementia to help raise awareness and provide support to others.

“Dementia Diaries” is a project that brings together people’s diverse experiences of living with dementia as a series of audio diaries. Some diaries are produced by DEEP members. Wendy from York found “nothing more comforting than for someone else saying that they are experiencing the same symptoms”. Gina from Liverpool thought it is “so important to keep those links, keep yourself motivated and active”. You can find the diaries on the website http://dementiadiaries.org/