Commenting on the success of the Dementia Ambassadors, Acting SSSC Chief Executive, Maree Allison said:
‘We know our workforce are passionate about increasing their knowledge and skills to make sure people living with dementia, their families and carers can live their lives centred on what matters to them.
‘The Promoting Excellence framework and our Dementia Ambassadors support this passion for learning, giving everyone the resources and support to deliver this’.
The story so far
We started recruiting Dementia Ambassadors in 2012 following the launch of the Promoting Excellence framework the previous year. Our Dementia Ambassadors promote dementia learning across Scotland and support workers in different settings to use relevant resources and the Promoting Excellence framework to help and facilitate the learning of others.
We have learning hubs and networks of Dementia Ambassadors to support learning in their local areas and communities. We also help develop workforce capacity by peer support to enhance Dementia Ambassador confidence in leading learning.
By 2017, we had over 850 Dementia Ambassadors in social care settings and colleges across Scotland.
Unfortunately, the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic on all social care staff working to care for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people over the last two years meant many were unable to play such an active role in supporting dementia learning. However a recent review saw over 100 Dementia Ambassadors come forward to become actively involved again.
We recently introduced webinars for our Dementia Ambassadors to help keep their dementia learning up to date. The one-hour webinars are really popular and we plan to roll these out further in the coming months to explore different approaches to supporting people living with dementia, their families and carers.
At our first webinar, Dementia Ambassadors were introduced to together in dementia everyday (tide) to hear about their resources and other relevant developments. You can find out more on the tide website.
The Scottish Government confirmed its commitment to the Promoting Excellence framework and learning resources in the National Dementia and COVID-19 Action Plan published in December 2020. This ongoing commitment has enabled the SSSC and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to support Dementia Ambassadors to increase their dementia knowledge and be part of a social services learning community which contributes to improving the experiences of people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers.
To support new Dementia Ambassadors to achieve the level of knowledge expected, we launched an online pilot programme in partnership with NES earlier this year. The seven-week pilot is being delivered to 20 new Dementia Ambassadors who care for those with dementia every day.
Comments we receive from Dementia Ambassadors completing the pilot and sharing their feedback will influence how we offer dementia learning support during 2022-23.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about our Dementia Ambassadors network and access the dementia learning resources available, please visit our Dementia Ambassadors web page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.