SUNshiners

The SUNshiners is a network for people with a diagnosis of dementia living in Dover Deal and Shepway. 

Our Trust is trying to improve the quality of service we offer to people with dementia. It’s vital that the opinions of people living with a diagnosis are heard by those who make decisions. By getting involved, you can help raise the standards of services across Kent. Through the network we aim to:

Improve attitudes to dementia by:

  • Helping create dementia-friendly communities
  • Raising public awareness
  • Reducing negative stereotypes of dementia

 Increase our network’s influence by:

  •  Linking with other Dementia Networks nationally

Improve the NHS by:

  • Assisting with staff training and interviews
  • Evaluating Memory Services
  • Commenting on plans for future service developments

More about the group

We now have 12 members and we meet monthly.

As a relatively new group we have been interested in thinking about how as service users we can use our experience, skills and knowledge to help inform, shape the development of services for people with dementia. This includes NHS services, voluntary and community organisations.We have established terms of reference and ground rules for our group.

Our meetings are co-chaired by a service user co-chair and a clinical psychologist. The group is also supported by two undergraduate psychology students and an assistant psychologist.

We are gradually becoming involved in a number of projects including research studies, providing consultation on the design of a study on mindfulness for people with dementia; sitting on interview panels for the Trust; and consulting on Trust leaflets and documents, such as care plans and the memory assessment service pathway.

Get involved

If you would like more information or would like to attend a meeting please contact Asesha Morjaria-Keval on 01304 216626 (Dover/Deal) or Yvette Kusel on 01303 228838 (Shepway).

SUNshiners at the Live it Library

The Live it Library is an online resource of stories from people who have experienced or are experiencing mental health issues. One of our SUNshiners has told their story:

Dianne

When Dianne was first diagnosed, she hid it from her friends and family as she felt embarrassed and believed she was more well than she actually was. Once she shared the news, her friends were glad she had opened up to them and together with her family, are part of her coping technique.

Other SUNshiners

Tracey

Tracey is a member of the SUNshiner’s group, who has been diagnosed with dementia. When she received this diagnosis, she was relieved, as she had been fighting for a diagnosis for a year, but was also devastated.Find out more about Tracey...

Sunshiners Photo

A recent achievement from the SUNShiners is the launch of the Shepway team’s singing group for people with dementia, which was inspired and encouraged from the SUNshiners who were very keen to have one in the area.