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Project information

Creative Spaces

We're working with older people with dementia, using outdoor spaces to reconnect them with their communities, improve their health and quality of life.

March 2018 - March 2021

Charity information: Sensory Trust

Sensory Trust logo
  • Need


    Dementia is one of the leading health challenges of our generation. People typically live with dementia for 10 to 12 years, and by 2025 it is estimated 1 million people in the UK will have dementia. The current isolation and stigmatisation of older people with dementia increases feelings of loneliness, depression and worthlessness. They often find it difficult to spend time outdoors, enjoy social activities and contribute to their community.


    We are working with people with dementia and their carers living in rural, isolated areas of Cornwall. We run activities, increase access to green spaces and increase understanding of dementia within local communities. This is helping to improve the physical and mental health of people with dementia, enabling them to lead fulfilling, independent lives for as long as possible. Older people, care staff, families and members of the community are involved in every stage of the project.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Older people with dementia will have improved quality of life and reduced isolation


    » Run 5 existing outdoor-based activity clubs for people with dementia and their carers, meeting weekly or fortnightly across Cornwall.
    » Set up an additional 5 outdoor-based activity clubs across Cornwall.

    What success will look like

    People with dementia & their carers will be spending more time outdoors & making new social connections through attending our weekly/ fortnightly dementia-friendly activity clubs.

    Aim 2

    Carers will maintain their own wellbeing, & improve their skills in supporting people with dementia


    » Deliver a structured 6 month training programme for carers, building their coping mechanisms in caring for someone with dementia
    » Create an online resource base, giving carers coping strategies to use in their caring role.
    » Develop a training manual to support the training programme, enhancing confidence and skills in caring for people with dementia.

    What success will look like

    Carers will have gained new skills, developed new support networks and improved their confidence through accessing our bespoke training programme & resources.

  • Impact


    People with dementia will be better supported in their communities, with more opportunity to access active outdoor recreation and social interaction. Carers will feel able to provide care for longer, having improved their own wellbeing and gained new coping mechanisms.
    New practical resources and training materials relevant for carers and family members will be available online and through ongoing activities.


    It will take time to change people’s perceptions of dementia within the community. We have already been working with people with dementia in Cornwall for over 8 years, this project is built on this experience as well as working directly with people with dementia and their carers. We have responded to feedback and are now focussing on people living in their homes, supporting them to live independent, fulfilling lives.


    Through regular written and verbal reports detailing project activity and achievements. Donors will also be invited to key events, including community celebrations as well as dementia awareness training events.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £291,723

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £174,207 Project officers 1.8fte for 3 years
      £61,326 Activity clubs Includes travel for participants, activity costs & volunteer training.
      £22,800 Carers workshops Includes venue hire, training materials etc.
      £21,390 Admin Project related overheads eg insurance, phone etc
      £8,400 Promotion Design, print & dissemination of posters etc.
      £3,600 Evaluation Commissioning independent focus groups & interviews

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Comic Relief £80,000 Guaranteed
    Lloyds Bank Foundation £73,550 Guaranteed
    Postcode Community Trust £17,062 Guaranteed
    Awards for All £9,950 Guaranteed
    Arts Council £12,623 Guaranteed
    Multiple small scale grants from Trusts & Foundations £12,252 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Across Cornwall. The level of deprivation in the County is often overlooked as it is known as a tourist destination, but many areas are within the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in England. The areas we have identified have a higher than average level of carers with more people claiming Carers Allowance than the national average. They are especially isolated through lack of public transport, lack of community facilities, more people with mood & anxiety disorders and lower than average wages.


    Dementia directly affects 820,000 people in the UK. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 identifies dementia as the most significant health and social crisis of the century.
    Older people with dementia experience social isolation and limited opportunities to participate in their wider community. Increased physical activity and social stimulation help reduce the negative elements of dementia such as anxiety, agitation and aggression.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Sensory Trust is the leading charity focusing on disability and the environment, and on the benefits that well-designed, accessible outdoor environments can confer on those who use them. Our multi-disciplinary team enables us to share knowledge between work areas that usually remain separate. Combined with our long experience of involving beneficiaries in finding solutions this means we can identify new ways to tackle old problems, and create practical solutions that work in the real world.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Wendy Brewin

    Specialises in working with older people, with extensive experience of engaging people of all ages and abilities in improving public green space.

    Ellie Robinson Carter

    Runs our activity clubs, bringing experience of running memory cafes and as an artist recently graduated with an MA from Falmouth University.