Dementia Friendly Church

Towns are being asked to become Dementia Friendly, part of the governments National Dementia Strategy. This is because the current 850,000 people diagnosed as living with Dementia is growing and we need to grow societies to support these people (useful resources for carers).

Alzheimer’s Research UK presents #sharetheorange

As part of the Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough initative and a successful Dementia Friendly Carol Service led by Reverend Jen and hosted at Holy Trinity, North Ormesby, St Cuthbert’s became the first Dementia Friendly Church in the borough. Achieving this accreditation however is only the start of the journey as we constantly work towards remaining a Dementia Friendly Church. The needs of people living with dementia change as their journey progresses and we need to support each journey to help retain their spiritual needs to the end.

Dementia Friendly Middlebrough

The lead people are Lesley Tart and the Reverend Jen Croft. Our Dementia champion Lesley who delivers the Dementia Friends training, which is accredited by the Alzheimer’s Society. Lesley links the training to show how we can support people living with dementia within the church, then as the journey progresses, offer support to retain the spiritual needs in the home, hospital or care home. This training can also be supplemented by our vicar, Reverend Jen as she links this to the scriptures.

Dementia Friends

We included people living with dementia throughout our accreditation process and continue to learn and develop form their experiences and needs.

The model we use, is how we should be supporting our whole church community, not just people living with Dementia. It simply looks at the person first and the Dementia or other disease second.

We have had our plan accepted and this will be followed up later this year to check compliance. One year on and we have produced our first annual report to show our progress.

We have built Dementia Friendly Church into our mission statement and training. Dementia Friends training is compulsory for anyone holding office or part of a group/team at St Cuthbert’s and the congregation are periodically offered the opportunity to join a session hosted at the church or the local library. Training has been bespoke for some members of the congregation to accommodate their needs.

Lesley has created documents to support improvements for the fabric of the church and its people, memory boxes, destination points and a short case study on how we as a church enabled a friend to maintain her spirituality to the end of her dementia journey. We know that it is the people at the heart of our Christian family, not the building. The Methodist Church has produced some excellent ‘top tip’ documents, which can be accessed here and for general access to the website click on the logo below.


Cleveland Police, as part of a National initative, have implemented the Herbert Protocol, designed to support those living with or caring for someone with dementia. It encourages carers, families, friends and neighbours to hold information about those with dementia that can help the police find them should they go missing. More information on this initative and a form for holding relevant information can be found here or via the logo below or the links at the bottom of this page.


Our leadership team are very focussed on our dementia commitments. When undergoing simple repairs and housekeeping as well as our major project works which will be shortly underway such as replacing our roof and building our Church/Community Hall, consideration are made in line with the documents Lesley has produced to allow people to continue to live well with Dementia.

Lesley and Reverend Jen are part of a vision and action group working with other churches in Middlesbrough to support them in becoming Dementia Friendly. This includes churches from the 4 main denominations (Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland) along with any other faiths who asks for support.

Lesley also sits on the working group for Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough and the Middlesbrough Dementia Action Alliance. Although we hosted the first Dementia Friendly Carol Service at Holy Trinity, North Ormesby, we will eventually support all of the churches main events in their calendar, e.g. Easter, and rotate the venue. In the long term it is envisaged that we may hold a weekly/monthly Dementia Friendly Service at a different venues to allow people living with Dementia to attend church for as long as they are able to do so, then continue support when they no longer can.

The web site and notice boards, along with the Dementia Friends web site, will show future awareness sessions, however this can be a web based session via the Alzheimer’s Society if you cannot attend one of our sessions.

If you have any concerns or questions, talk to Lesley or Jen, and if any one wishes to become a champion to deliver the sessions, ask Lesley or visit the Alzheimer’s Society website.

This is welcomed by the Diocese.

Lesley Tart Reviewed 4/11/16

Useful resources for carers

The following links are informative resources that offer a lot of practical advice for caring for someone in the early, middle, and late stages of Alzheimer’s.

Early Warning Signs of Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s: Smoothing the transition on moving day

Making your home dementia friendly (PDF)

Activities for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

Alzheimer’s or Other Dementia: Should I Move My Relative Into Long-Term Care?

How to Make a Loved One’s Final Days at Home Comfortable

Caregiver Stress: Remembering To Take Care Of Yourself

The Herbert Protocol – Cleveland Police

Documents: Click on the links to open or right-click to save them to your computer.

Format – PDF
Herbert Protocol Leaflet

Herbert Protocol Poster

Format – DOCX
Herbert Protocol Missing / Vulnerable Person Information form H01

Dementia Friendly Carol Service 2016

For the second year running, we held another successful Carol service for people living with dementia, their friends and carers. Approximately 127 people attended this year’s service, held on 16th December at St Barnabas, Middlesbrough. Below are some images from the service.

Lesley’s report on the event can be found here on the Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland website.

Herbert Protocol form H02

St Cuthbert’s, Ormesby, Annual Report 2017

Here is the Dementia Friendly Church 2017 Annual Report (PDF).

Click on the Logo below to access sites with more information, or use the links in the text above: