Volunteers Matter

What is the course about?

This one day course will help volunteers to have an awareness of dementia and understand the benefits of life stories for the people they support, for family carers, paid carers and staff organisations such as Housing Assocaitions. Life story work provides a way to re-connect with people, particularly if they have communication difficulties arising from dementia or other conditions.  Volunteers can work creatively to produce the life story in whatever way suits the person best – for example a DVD, photograph album, collage or memory box.

What does the course involve?

The course is interactive, using practical exercises to demonstrate the importance of communication and building rapport and illustrating how to get started with life story work. It includes basic awareness training about dementia and how to respond to people who have behavioural or communication difficulties as a result. A two day course including a follow up day is also available.

Who is the course aimed at?

Volunteers who support other people, including those who receive substantial assistance from paid staff either at home or in residential care. Organisations may wish to include a course for volunteers in a training package on life story work for their organisation, so that paid staff, volunteers and family carers can work better together.

What will volunteers learn on the course?

A basic awareness of dementia including the causes and resulting behaviours

The importance of relationships and how to build rapport

The importance of seeing people as individuals with their own stories, histories and future hopes

How to use life story work as a way of improving communication with those cared for and with paid staff who support them

How to use life story work to encourage the person cared for to create a record of their life to date, along with their hopes for the future

How to identify appropriate support to help undertake life story work