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Internal initiatives & collaborations

While Hanover is not a dementia care provider, we believe it's vital to ensure that we partake in initiatives that enable us to support residents with dementia. Below are some examples of the internal initiatives and collaborations we've been working over the past two years. We also encourage and support staff to participate in external training, events and initiatives.

Dementia Action Week 2018

Previously called 'Dementia Awareness Week', Dementia Action Week will run from Monday 21 May to Sunday 27 May 2018. The Alzheimer's Society website has lots of information on how to get involved.

This year our Dementia Connect team is asking Hanover residents, staff, friends, families and communities to knit or crochet forget-me-knots. We'll then sell them at £1 per flower to raise funds to donate to Alzheimer's Society and Dementia Action Alliance.

There's a knitting and crochet pattern on the Canadian Alzheimer Society website. You can also view or download a copy here. If you'd prefer to watch a video, here are some useful ones from YouTube:

We'll be gathering photos of the flowers crocheted on our estates and in our offices to make a collage for promoting involvement and awareness of the initiative.

Dementia Connect


  • To create 'Dementia Leads' around the organisation
  • To research the potential for delivering targeted support for residents with dementia
  • To provide enhanced training in dementia to staff

We worked with the Design Council on this project. They then produced a case study about how we used their Design in the Public Sector programme as an opportunity to improve our services around dementia. We continue to develop our approach, the ultimate goal being to reach a stage where we can state: 'The way we work, the connections we make and the services we provide enable residents with dementia to live well at Hanover.'

Dementia Leads & Dementia Champions

Dementia Leads are members of staff on our estates and in our offices who have volunteered to:

  • Encourage colleagues and other stakeholders to become dementia friends
  • Keep up to date with national and local dementia initiatives, and share information and ideas with colleagues
  • Help colleagues to make contact with their Local Dementia Action Alliances (LDAAs)
  • Support individual estates to become members and help build dementia networks locally
  • Participate in in-house webinars and workshops

Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC)

A membership organisation committed to high quality research into influencing policy and practice in Housing with Care and other forms of accommodation and care for people with dementia in the UK. The steering group, of which Hanover is a member, comprises five well-established housing and care providers. Visit their website to find out more.

Memory bunting

Memory bunting is a visually interesting and shared way of showing how important our memories are and that they can be a great source of comfort and happiness. In 2015 all Hanover staff were invited to take part in creating ‘memory bunting’ by downloading a template and putting a favourite memory onto it. All of the bunting was then gathered together and strung together to see how long a piece of memory bunting we could create at Hanover.

Tangible Memories

In 2015, Bristol University asked Hanover staff at Blaise Weston Court in Bristol if we would like to get involved in their Tangible Memories project aimed at working with older residents to help them use digital technology to recreate their life stories.

The team had created an iPad app for creating a digital ebook that can be read on a computer or digital device, and can be printed as an actual hardcover photo book. Four residents at Blaise Weston Court used the app on an iPad to create amazing books. They had never used this technology before, and the plain room they were meeting in was transformed into a memory parlour after people talked about the way objects create stories and can be very meaningful.

The free Tangible Memories - Story Creator for iPad app can be downloaded at the App Store. We continue to work with Tangible Memories as more exciting ideas come forward, such as a rocking chair that can hold their memories and play them back.

On 31 March 2017, Blaise Weston Court held an Open Day where a group of Year 5 pupils from a local primary school were invited to visit residents. The pupils were particularly fascinated by the contents of a series of boxes containing items from the various decades of the 20th century. Visit the Tangible Memories website to read more about this fascinating intergenerational event.


The Twiddlemuffs pheomenon - an external initiative, the background to which is provided on our External initiatives page - was embraced with great enthusiasm at Hanover, with staff on estates and in offices getting involved and knitting and decorating hundreds of them.

A Twiddlemuff knitting pattern PDF can be viewed and/or downloaded here.

Some of the Twiddlemuffs are being used on our estates, and we are planning to donate the ones that were knitted by our office-based staff (photo, below left). After the initiative featured in Hanover News 2015, one resident was so inspired that she knitted 14 smaller pieces and sent them to us by post (photo, below right). It was a lovely parcel to receive at our offices and we have named her creations 'Twiddlemittens'!

Twiddlemuffs 1 Dementia Twiddlemittens 1 Dementia