Platfform is a leading mental health and wellbeing charity in Wales, working with people who are facing challenges with their mental health. We believe that everyone has unique strengths and abilities, whatever their current circumstances might be.
Our projects provide support to over 4,000 people each year and work to create opportunities for people to discover and develop their unique strengths, connect with people who’ve had similar experiences, and feel a valued part of their community. Our support projects include crisis intervention and prevention, tenancy support, family support, employment and learning services, supported accommodation, training, community wellbeing and campaigning.
Dementia is a growing concern for society. The numbers of people diagnosed is increasing, and dementia is forecast to become the UK’s biggest cause of death by 2025. DIAL has been designed to help those people living with dementia, and their carers.
DIAL has been developed from a previous Platfform project, GreenAge. With the aim of reducing social isolation in over 50s through gardening groups, GreenAge was financed via The National Lottery Community Fund from 2011 to 2015. The project found that people living with dementia engaged well with and benefitted from a variety of activities, and so DIAL was created to help make more of these activities happen.
DIAL does things differently. Where most dementia activities focus primarily on treatment and safety, we work to ensure that each person is considered as a ‘whole’ person and that all of their needs are met. Safety and treatment are paramount, but we believe that desires and aspirations are also key factors to wellbeing that need to be explored.
We support people to make the most of the opportunities available so they can live as well as possible with dementia. Launched in September 2016, DIAL is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
DIAL runs group sessions free of charge to care homes in the Cardiff and the Vale, alongside one-to-one sessions with people living with dementia.
Based on Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, the 10-week group sessions help people living with dementia to take part in exercise, as well as demonstrating activities to staff and carers that they can use regularly. Some of the most popular activities include clay modelling, flower arranging, baking and music bingo. You can learn how to do these activities and more on our resources page.
1:1 sessions help people living with dementia return to activities they used to enjoy in the past, or to try something new. Sessions are led by the individual who decides their activity, and DIAL supports them to achieve this. The individual’s carer is invited to join or use the time for themselves.
DIAL organise days out to destinations such as Cardiff Christmas market, Porthcawl (to see the sea!) dementia-friendly cinema screenings, garden centres and afternoon tea. Trips such as these boost social interaction and create new memories.