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Our booklets of tips and recommendations from the SCI-Dem project have now been finalised and are available to view online or download (see below for web links).

These booklets are basically the distilled findings of the SCI-Dem realist review – i.e. what we found were the key issues – and cause and effect mechanisms – in helping to keep a community group or activity for people affected by dementia going long term. We completed the SCI-Dem review in December 2020, and it involved trawling papers, reports, info guides, and all kinds of other sources out there, for anything we could find on the subject of how to sustain community groups aimed at people living with dementia (or how not to!)

Running a community-based group or activity can be challenging and keeping it going long-term can be even more so – especially in a climate where community awareness and resources can vary dramatically from place to place, where funding is hard to come by and often short term, and where there is no standard, formal support for such groups.

There is no “silver bullet” to solve these problems, but part of the battle is raising awareness of the challenges that such groups face, and why. Much of what is in these booklets will be familiar to those working with such community groups – the problems groups face in keeping going are much talked about, but have received almost no direct research attention. These booklets aim to draw together and map out all of the issues that groups and activities commonly face in keeping going, and to go one step further, making recommendations about how to avoid such pitfalls and maximise chances of success, informed by the evidence “out there”.

We developed three booklets from our findings:

The first is aimed at those planning and running such groups:

This one is called Keeping community groups and activities going – Sustainable Community Interventions for people affected by Dementia: Recommendations for practice from the SCI-Dem Project – and this one is the largest and most detailed, as it was people in practice that SCI-Dem was designed to help and inform, primarily. We hope this booklet will provide both practical information that people can apply, as well as perhaps raising some issues they may not have considered to help them navigate the rocky road to establishing a stable and sustainable group.

The second is aimed at commissioners and those involved in shaping policy:

This one is called Sustaining community groups and activities for people affected by dementia: Recommendations from the SCI-Dem Project for commissioners and policy-makers – with this booklet we hope to provide food for thought regarding things that might be worth considering when making decisions that could impact the sustainability of provision to support people living with dementia in the community.

The third booklet is aimed at people attending such groups, whether living with dementia themselves or supporting someone who is.

This one is called Helping your community group or activity club to keep going strong: Suggestions for members of groups and clubs from the SCI-Dem Review – we hope this booklet will give people a few ideas for how they might help support their own group to keep going strong, and give people an idea of the research going on and what is currently being debated and thought about, for those interested.

Please do download these and take a look – and please do drop us a line (either by emailing me at or the Association for Dementia Studies at and tell us if you do find them useful – it’s always great to get feedback!

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UK Meeting Centres Support Programme

Keep up to date with everything Meeting Centres - community based innovation supporting people living with dementia. Find out about the latest developments including new Meeting Centres. Perhaps you will be inspired to set up a Centre in your community?

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