LIVERPOOL MEETING CENTRES PARTNERSHIP INVITATION TO BID FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT ROLE 1. Background i. What is a Meeting Centre? A meeting Centre is a local resource operating out of ordinary community buildings, offering ongoing warm and friendly expert support to people and families affected by dementia. Its activities are determined by the people who use the Centre with the overall aim of helping them adapt to the diagnosis. Personal care is not provided and registration with the Care Quality Commission is therefore not required. People with dementia and their carers are encouraged to attend together. The model is based on research in the Netherlands, where Meeting Centres were developed and evaluated, and in the UK, where the University of Worcester evaluated the two pilot Meeting Centres in Leominster and Droitwich. This tested out whether the model was replicable here. Due to the positive results, the University secured a National Lottery grant to run a national Meeting Centres Support Programme (MCSP)1. Its aim is to provide support to people who want to establish their own Meeting Centres in different part of the UK. Ruth Eley, ex-chair of the Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance, is a member of the national reference group for the project. The national MCSP has run a series of Pioneer Workshops across the UK to disseminate the learning from the pilot Meeting Centres and to encourage local interest. They also run regular on-line webinars on various topics. The number of Meeting Centres has grown as a result. ii. What’s happening in Liverpool? In 2018, Liverpool CCG and the city council commissioned Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance to refresh their dementia strategy. The updated Forward Plan for the new strategy states its intention to ‘explore the potential for developing Meeting Centres in Liverpool.’ A workshop run by the MCSP was held in Liverpool in July 2019 which was well attended by representatives of the NHS, city council, voluntary 1 https://www.worcester.ac.uk/about/academic-schools/school-of-allied-health-and-community/allied-healthresearch/association-for-dementia-studies/ads-research/uk-meeting-centres.aspx and community organisations, people with dementia and carers. The outcome was an agreement to bring interested parties together to form an initial planning group. There is particular interest in developing a Meeting Centre to meet the needs of BAME communities in the city as there is little existing provision that is tailored to their cultural and language needs. There is also an option to rotate the venue of the Meeting Centre in different localities across the city initially whilst trying to find suitable more permanent locations. This would provide the opportunity for people who live across the city to access the meeting centre more easily and also provide opportunity for the concept to appear more tangible and gain traction within the local communities and enable potential supporters to see it in action. The planning group will ensure that work on the specific options is pulled together so that potential Meeting Centres complement each other rather than work in opposition. The planning group comprises representatives of the various sectors (as above) along with a firm of solicitors. It is currently chaired by Ruth Eley, Chair - Liverpool Meeting Centres planning group. Locations for potential meeting centres are crucial and this would be a key element of the project management role, establishing potential locations with the possibility of rotating the venue initially to increase accessibility and understanding of their potential. iii. The need for project management All planning group members are enthusiastic about the prospect of establishing Meeting Centres in the city but this will require extensive planning and preparation in order to make this a successful venture, not least securing agreement about the governance arrangements and the type of organisation that will be required to run the Centre(s). The planning group has secured development funding from the Shaw Foundation to enable the recruitment of a Project Manager to do the detailed work necessary to get to the point of opening Meeting Centres in the city. As the formal structures do not yet exist, Dementia Action Liverpool (DAL) has agreed to (i) host the funding and (ii) commission the project management. DAL is a not for profit limited company2 set up in 2017 to manage the business of the Liverpool Dementia Action Allia

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