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Working together for a dementia-inclusive future

Forget-me-nots growing in the garden at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
Forget-me-nots (a flower that represents remembrance and is an emblem for people living with dementia) growing in the garden at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/Justin Minns

In 2019, we launched a three-year partnership with Alzheimer's Society to support us in becoming more dementia friendly. Whilst this programme was paused during the pandemic, we’re delighted to announce that we’re extending our partnership with Alzheimer's Society for a further three years, up to 2027.

The power of natural and historic connections

We know that natural and historic places can play a significant role in improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia, as these areas help to stimulate discussion and forge positive memories. Visiting these spaces in groups can also improve sleep patterns and promote both physical and social activity if enjoyed in groups.

For people with dementia and their carers, historic spaces, collections, landscapes and stories can prompt and stimulate discussion, encourage outdoor exploration and offer a vital connection to the world around them.

Research from Alzheimer’s Society shows that day trips are one of the most likely and regular activities for people living with the condition and their carers. In comparison to other visitor attractions, people living with dementia also view heritage sites as safe and familiar spaces*.

We know how important it is for people with dementia to connect with nature and activities that can stimulate reminiscence, improving their wellbeing and quality of life. By extending our amazing partnership with National Trust we will be working together to promote dementia inclusion and enhance the incredible work already being undertaken.

A quote by Greg MaloneAlzheimer’s Society Head of Partnership and Business Development

How we're working together with Alzheimer's Society

By working together, we want to ensure that:

  • Dementia inclusivity is the norm and not the exception at both the places in our care and in our work
  • Our people and those living with dementia understand how they can be supported by and be involved in the partnership
  • There’s a greater understanding and collaboration between our organisations, aiming to sustain a long-term partnership.

Our partnership will be developed and shaped by people with dementia. They’ll be involved in all the work we’re undertaking to ensure we’re meeting their needs and demonstrating the impact of this partnership.

The partnership with Alzheimer's Society is very important; it has already helped us enhance experiences for people living with dementia at many of our places. We are delighted to be continuing this collaboration and I am confident that it will help us extend those benefits to more people.

A quote by Tina LewisNational Trust Director of People

What we’re already doing

Several of the places in our care are already offering engaging experiences for people living with dementia – by partnering with Alzheimer's Society, we hope to be able to promote further dementia inclusivity at more spaces.

Peckover House and Gardens, Cambridgeshire

As the UK partner of the EU-funded MONUMENT (MOre NUrturing and More Empowerment Nested in Technology) pilot project, the Reed Barn at Peckover has been transformed into a safe place where people living with dementia, their families and carers can share experiences, gain new skills and take a break from caring responsibilities.

Find out more about Damsons at Peckover

Using insight from the Damsons pilot project, we recently worked with external charity Dementia Adventure to develop a new resource to help more of our places become dementia inclusive.

Back to Backs, Birmingham

The Back in Time Reminiscence sessions at the Back to Backs are for people living with mild dementia and their friends, family or carers. Guests are taken to one of the historic rooms to talk about objects like photographs, music, toys and household objects from the past to start informal conversations. Members of the team share their own memories relating to objects, which creates a trigger for guests to share stories which may have been hidden.

Learn about the reminiscence sessions at Back to Backs

The growing impact of dementia

Dementia is the UK’s biggest health and social care crisis, with one in two people being affected by the condition in their lifetime, either developing the condition themselves or caring for someone with the condition, or both**.

There are currently estimated to be 900,000 people in the UK with dementia and Alzheimer’s Society predicts that this will rise to 1.6 million by 2040.

* This emerged from interviews conducted as part of the study by Page, S.J., Innes, A. and Cutler, C. (2015) Developing Dementia-Friendly Tourism Destinations: An Exploratory Analysis. Journal of Travel Research. 54 (4) pp. 461-81.

** Besley S., Kourouklis D., O’Neill P., Garau M. (2023) Dementia in the UK: Estimating the Potential Future Impact and Return on Research Investment. OHE Contract Research.

Contractors helping with the tree planting at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Our partners

As Europe’s largest conservation charity, a partnership with us can make a real difference. Find out about our current partners and how to get in touch about becoming one.

Our partners

Alzheimer's Society

We’re extending our partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society for another three years to help improve dementia inclusion at the places we care for.

Visit website 

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