The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice’s (ASCPP) ground-breaking work to improve the lives of those living with dementia is being celebrated with the launch of its latest annual celebration report.

The report showcases stories of outstanding dementia care during the pandemic, recognising seven individuals and teams* for their inspiring work and dedication throughout the challenges presented by Covid-19.

Over the past 12 months, the Centre – which is a collaborative partnership between University of the West of Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland – has had a far-reaching impact, noting a number of significant success stories, educational and professional developments, and research and enterprise activities.

This year, the team was awarded a major national Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence, recognising the ASCPP’s pioneering dementia-focused ‘Class in a Bag’ initiative, which has been rolled out in schools and other settings across Scotland through the University’s undergraduate nursing programmes.

The award-winning ASCPP Carer’s Academy also received funding from Alzheimer Scotland to expand, creating two hubs at UWS’s Ayr and Lanarkshire Campus, and the Centre produced a series of impactful coronavirus podcasts, discussing issues of concern and providing reassurance to people affected by dementia during coronavirus restrictions.

The practitioners and teams celebrated in the report are UWS students, former students or ASCPP associates, and their achievements are wide-ranging, including a retired nurse who returned to the NHS to support throughout the pandemic, and innovative use of technology to reconnect loved ones.

As a University we are committed to making a transformational impact on the lives of our students and society. The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice plays a crucial role in creating a vibrant and impactful focus for our dementia-related education, research and enterprise activity. I want to acknowledge the inspirational work of the featured practitioners whose work has been celebrated in this Report. All of these frontline practitioners have studied with us, some completing degrees, engaging in specialist dementia education, others graduating from the national Dementia Champions Programme. It is truly inspiring to see both, how they are using their talent and dementia expertise to change lives, and the reach and impact of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor

In a year like no other it is essential that we take time to fully reflect on the hard lessons we have all learned about the cracks in our care systems and services, and the importance of valuing those who receive and give care. It is also important that we recognise some of the extraordinary efforts of practitioners during this challenging time, and I’m pleased that this report gives us that opportunity.

Professor Debbie Tolson, Director of the ASCPP

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “This year’s report showcases some inspirational practice stories from professionals who went above and beyond during coronavirus. The global pandemic, and the measures put in place to contain it, has had a devastating impact on our dementia community. The level of grief and loss that so many families of people living with dementia are going through is unimaginable. It is therefore imperative that we continue to attract and train the most highly skilled dementia practitioners to better navigate this new landscape. Alzheimer Scotland is proud to have such an excellent partner in UWS and we look forward to working together next year as we start to build a new future.”

You can view the full report here and also view a video from Professor Debbie Tolson, Director of the ASCPP, to celebrate the launch here.