Open Door 1 – Small Good Stuff grant winner
Part of Community Catalysts’ ethos and social enterprise business model is to support the sector and reinvest back into the wider community. Earlier this year, Community Catalysts ran two grant programmes for our fantastic Small Good Stuff members who run tiny community enterprises, organisations and groups that offer help and care for others. In this ‘super story’ we find out more about our grant winner ‘Open Door 1’ and how they used the money to provide more opportunities for the people they support….
Open Door 1 provides social day care for people who have dementia. The sessions had to close temporarily due to the Covid pandemic but Maxine, who runs Open Door 1, managed to visit older people for a few weeks voluntarily to try and get back some kind of connection with people.
“Everyone was saying the same at those visits – that they see no one and that they just watch television. One lady didn’t know she could change channels on her controller by pressing a blue button. She can now watch more than just ITV. Small things make a difference.” – Maxine
One of the biggest things Maxine came across in the past year for people with dementia was the lack of ability to converse properly and word finding skills had deteriorated.
“Lack of contact for those living alone has resulted in some people not uttering a single word for days.” – Maxine
Maxine visited people just to have conversations to promote word forming and sentences started to flow better within an hour or so.
The £500 grant was used to help make some memories for the families Maxine works with.
“We made diaries and filled them with photos of things that reminded us of things past and present.” – Maxine
10 group members took part making diaries. The group became closer having discussed their family memories.
“We all learned a lot about each other. Many things surprising. Stores of things that we would never have known. People have led very different and interesting lives. It has given us all insight into each other before the memories diminished. We found out we have a Badminton champion and also a professional dancer amongst us!” – Maxine
The sessions were a bit of a game of two halves…Some group members said it was a happy experience but others found it sad.
“In one case the diary had to be stopped because it was too upsetting. I think it highlighted that because of the degeneration of cognition people couldn’t do the same things as they used to and it was upsetting. Others saw it as a reminder of a happy time and it made them reflect.” – Maxine
Meet all grant winners from our Small Good Stuff grant programme:
Meet all grant winners from The Buzz grant programme which helped community enterprises to create and share videos for our online platform of inclusive, exciting and accessible activities: