Alzheimer Scotland is delighted to reveal Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2019 winners which showcase and recognise the inspirational projects which are supporting people living with dementia, their families and carers across the country.

The awards celebrate achievements of those outstanding individuals, groups and organisations making a difference for people living with dementia and their families across health, social service and community settings.

Amanda Kopel and Henry Simmons SDAs19
Henry Simmons presents Amanda Kopel with her Lifetime Achievement Award

In partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council, Scotland’s Dementia Awards was also proud to honour Amanda Kopel with a unique Lifetime Achievement Award for her ‘Frank’s Law’ campaign, named after Amanda’s late husband and football legend, Frank Kopel.

After single-handedly running the campaign for six years, the Scottish Government introduced the new law which extended free personal care for everyone who requires it, regardless of age.

Henry Simmons, Alzheimer Scotland’s Chief Executive, said on behalf of Scotland’s Dementia Awards: “Congratulations to all our winners for their excellent work to improve the lives of people living with dementia, their carers and family members.

“We were delighted to honour the tireless work of Amanda Kopel who received a special Lifetime Achievement Award on the day following years of campaigning to extend free personal care to people under the age of 65. Amanda’s efforts and her commitment to end this inequality has been a truly remarkable achievement, and the outcome of her campaign will improve the lives of so many people with dementia and other conditions throughout Scotland and she greatly deserves this recognition.”

During the awards at the Raddison Blue Hotel in Glasgow, the SDA's recognised five projects under: Best Community Support Initiative, Dementia Friendly Community Initiative, Best Educational Initiative, Best Hospital Care Initiative, Best Care Home Practice Improvement, including a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Henry Simmons added, “I am always amazed and honoured by the dedication of individuals and of the creative collaborations taking place across Scotland and this year was no exception. Our winning initiatives are significantly developing and improving practice, ensuring that the rights of people with dementia and their families to receive the best possible quality of care and support are being recognised and fulfilled. Others are helping to break down and tackle social barriers, unifying our communities and creating a dementia-friendly Scotland. A big thank you to everyone who entered this year to make our winners’ ceremony a truly remarkable event.”

Get to know Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2019 winners:

Best Community Support Initiative SDAs19 winners

Best Community Support Initiative

An Alternative to Hospital Admission for Older People Organisation: Rapid Response Team, NHS Lothian

The Rapid Response Team is a recently established, nurse-led, community mental health team which provide an alternative to hospital admission for older people by providing intensive mental health treatment and support at home. It is the first service of its kind in Scotland and aims to address inequalities between adult and older adult mental health services. The RRT prides itself in taking a flexible person-centred approach to care and will assess each person’s needs individually to create a unique care plan in line with the persons own view of what recovery looks like for them.

Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative SDAs19 winners

Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative

Woodland Activity Group Organisation, Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry

The Woodland Activity Programme is a 10-week programme working with people living with early stage dementia. Participants visit the woodland weekly and take part in variety of outdoor crafts/activities. The programme offers participants a chance to increase their self-confidence and feel engaged with their community. It was developed based on the evidence that being within greenspace can have therapeutic benefits, which enhances the supports currently available for people with dementia.

Best Educational Initiative SDAs19 winners

Best Educational Initiative

Carer’s Academy Organisation, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and University of the West of Scotland

The “Carer’s Academy” is a joint initiative between NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the University of the West of Scotland. The programme aims to support family members and friends who care for loved ones with dementia, to develop enhanced levels of practical skills and knowledge in dementia care. Simulated and practice-based learning approaches are utilised, whilst ensuring careful attention to the maintenance of a supportive and caring learning environment. Evaluation results indicate that the Carer’s Academy is of value to family carers not only on a practical level but also in facilitating peer support and establishing connections with local support services.

Best Hospital Care Initiative SDAs19 winners

Best Hospital Care Initiative

Styles and Smiles, University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire

The salon officially opened after feedback from the people they support to porters regarding lack of hairdressing facilities on-site. Supported by New College Lanarkshire, students provide hairdressing and barber services free of charge and have received advice on how best to support people with dementia. The salon gives people living with dementia the opportunity to keep their hairdressing routine whilst in hospital, in a comfortable surrounding whilst boosting their wellbeing.

Best Home Care Practical Environment SDAs19 winners

Best Care Home Practice Improvement

Developing Namaste Care in Practice, Erskine Park Home

Namaste provides simple, person centred ways for care staff to care for residents living with advanced Dementia and at End of Life. It reduces the likelihood of residents living a silent existence with no meaningful engagement in their lives. It recognises the spirit of the individual providing comfort through sensory based experiences. To enable provision of Namaste care seven days a week a training programme was developed to support training throughout the organisation. Namaste care provides comfort not only to residents but also to staff and relatives, providing deeper and more meaningful relationships between them all.

Interested in learning more about Scotland's Dementia Awards? Head to the SDA website, or catch up on the awards by following #SDAs19.