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Community wellbeing

Dementia Friendly Communities

The Alzheimer's Society defines a dementia friendly community as: “A city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported, and feel confident they can contribute to community life.”

Most people with dementia want to remain in their own communities and in their own homes for as long as possible. People with dementia want and need to continue to feel part of their community and we are encouraging and supporting our Cotswold residents to get involved with making their own communities Dementia Friendly.

More details can be found here:

Active Cotswold Physical Activity Programme 

Our aim is to develop, support and encourage more accessible, inclusive and sustainable physical activity opportunities in our communities. The programme will look to address health inequalities, focus on the wider determinants of health and aim to increase provision in the more deprived areas. We will encourage, motivate and support those who are physically inactive and have long- term health conditions, to become more active, which will then help them, manage/improve their condition. 

We have engaged our communities in questionnaires and discussions, have mapped existing provision and identified gaps.  As a result, we have already created new activity options to fit the communities’ needs such as Community Fit Kits: https://news.cotswold.gov.uk/news/community-fit-kit-launched-for-residents-in-the-cotswolds, chair exercise classes, dementia exercise classes, and gentle wellbeing walking.

We are working with partner organisations such as Active Gloucestershire, Bromford Housing and local groups and charities such as friendship cafés, The Churn Project and Cotswold Friends.

Physical activity options will mainly be community led (sustainable), place based, supported by Cotswold District Council and will use local, qualified trainers who will connect and support each other via a district network group we have created.  

The programme is focusing on promoting ‘movement’ rather than solely ‘exercise’ to reduce stigma, negativity and barriers around Physical Activity perception.

Our focus will continue to be on an inclusive and ‘person centred’ approach to Physical Activity.

COMMUNITY FIT KIT – Supplied to community rooms to help residents take the first steps to becoming more active. The Fit Kit has basic exercise equipment with health, nutrition and first aid information and an exercise demonstration booklet. Here is a link to the press release for the Community Fit Kit donated to Bromford Housing at Chesterton: https://news.cotswold.gov.uk/news/community-fit-kit-launched-for-residents-in-the-cotswolds 

WELLBEING WALKS – Wellbeing walks are a great way to tackle inactivity, isolation and loneliness. It is free, accessible and good fun! We are hoping to set up Wellbeing Walks and also train walk leaders in The Cotswolds.

CHAIR WORKOUT CLASSES FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS – We are attending different community groups and demonstrating chair workouts for people living with barriers to exercise. We encourage groups to continue with the workouts on a regular basis and we can also run short courses for specific groups such as people living with dementia or Parkinson’s. 

MR MOTIVATOR – Active Cotswold are offering FREE membership to Mr Motivator's Motivation Club for those who qualify. This is a fantastic online tool for those who may want to start becoming more active but they are not ready or unable to attend a class/gym. The club is interactive, inclusive and hugely positive. You just need Wi-Fi and a device to view the workouts. You can select recorded workouts (including chair movement) or join Mr Motivator for a live workout all in your living room! Groups and care homes also join the workouts so this is another option you might want to explore. If you would like more information email community.support@cotswold.gov.uk or if you would like to sign up please click on this link https://forms.gle/wmg6BNqnd6T9tBGz9

YOU CAN MOVE – A free outdoor class in Fairford which is part of Cotswold District Council’s Active Cotswold Physical Activity Project. This is a great, inclusive way for people to begin to get more active and is suitable also for those with dementia and Parkinson’s. For more information and to book your free place please email: community.support@cotswold.gov.uk

If you would like to look at having something similar in your area then please get in touch with Kate Holland on Kate.Holland@publicagroup.uk who will be happy to have a chat about what we can offer.

Cotswold Community Network 

Cotswold District Council's Community Wellbeing Team host a District-wide ‘Cotswold Community Network’ (CCN) group made up of voluntary organisations, community groups, NHS, Foodbanks, Town and Parish Councils, Youth Providers and many more. Currently we have over 100 members from 62 different organisations and we are always looking to increase this number.

The aim of the CCN is to network and share information about what is happening in communities throughout the district. We hold informal and friendly meetings with a focus on sharing details and updates about all the great work that is happening in the Cotswold communities, promoting events, opportunities and making links with other organisations for collaborative working.

We invite guest speakers (some of these are members of the group) which is a great opportunity to promote and share initiatives and community projects and get key messages to key people/organisations for more effective and joined up working. 

For more information or to join the CCN please contact Clare Jobling on clare.jobling@publicagroup.uk

Cotswold Community Building 

Our aim is to help residents feel more connected to their local communities. We support those who feel passionate about enhancing their communities to take action to achieve real and lasting change.

We want to build connections within communities to bring about people-led action and would love to hear your views and ideas about what your ideal community would look like, and what gifts, skills or passions you have that you would like to share.

 We know that everyone in a community has something to offer and evidence tells us that strong community relationships:

  • Reduce social inequalities
  • Improve personal wellbeing
  • Reduce isolation and loneliness
  • Helps the whole community to thrive

Some examples of Community Building activity can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRXQ0egjSVM

COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS – We are engaging with local communities to encourage asset-based community development and support communities in setting up activities they enjoy and can run together. To meet residents we are out and about and will be running ‘Meet Your Community Builder’ events so residents can come and chat to us about their communities. We have run an event for 5 connected villages and hope to do more of these.

Cotswold Connected Community & Food Programme

This programme is open to not-for-profit voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises. We would also like to hear from individuals or small un-constituted groups with a great idea.

We are looking to improve the resilience of the community as a whole, promoting equality and diversity instead of highlighting inequalities, people caring for each other no matter their background and sharing of resources. 

Part of this programme is focusing on the development of a district-wide food network setting up a number of community fridges, pantries and larders in partnership with Feeding Gloucestershire, The Long Table and FareShare. Cotswold District Council is committing £40k towards the food network.

Find out more and how to apply here: https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/communities-and-leisure/community-grants-and-funding/cotswold-connected-community-and-food-programme/