" I enjoy coming each week. I’m glad as this reminds me of my earlier days when I used to work with wood products. "
Winning partnership the key for a dementia-friendly initiative

Something a little different for our It Starts With You series for Dementia Awareness Month 2015. A great story about a great enterprise out of the ACT! #ItStartsWithYou

Alzheimer’s Australia ACT is partnering with Northside Community Services and the Majura Men’s Shed to develop a woodworking enterprise. This program is providing a dementia-friendly supported environment for people diagnosed with dementia to participate in the development of the enterprise. With support from these three organisations, members of the woodworking team will be actively involved in:

  1. building wooden/mosaic products
  2. marketing, advertising and selling
  3. promotion and fundraising

The program highly values the skills and employment backgrounds of its team members and will provide the support for these skills to be maintained and maximised. Opportunities will be sought to use each team member’s knowledge, skills and experience in areas of the program i.e. developing any webpages, supporting monthly fundraising events etc.

Each week, two programs work in conjunction:

  1. Cutting the wooden products into kit form. Men with dementia are working alongside volunteers at the Majura Men’s Shed
  2. Finish the products for sale involving sanding, varnishing, assembling and packaging by a team of ten people.

The teams have just started working on making toy cars as a first project. A request has been taken from Greening Australia for nesting boxes to be built for threatened bird species. Other projects will include building easels and other toys i.e. planes and “waddling” ducks.

One team member states, “I enjoy coming each week. I’m glad as this reminds me of my earlier days when I used to work with wood products”.

 Posted: September 25th, 2015
Discussion

Marg said:

What a wonderful initiative, I too hope this catches on. People with Dementia need purpose and need to feel useful and needed. Congratulations to all those involved, for caring enough to introduce such a wonderful solution to a very big problem. Marg

Ruth said:

My husband loved working with wood in his shed and this made him able to stay home much longer before going into care. Anything that brings purpose to their lives is just wonderful. Congratulations

Liz said:

great work.

Liz said:

Great work & I hope it continues. We need something for ladies as well. There are more women with dementia than men

Helen said:

I hope this initiative grows in other communities across Australia. A demeaning disease requires this type of support! Congratulations to the 'architect's' of this idea ☆

Helen said:

What a wonderful initiative. Great work.

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Call the National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500