Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Sheppey students win Dementia Friendly Kent Awards

Sheppey students win Dementia Friendly Kent Awards
Sheppey students win Dementia Friendly Kent Awards

Students and Community Hub staff from Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey are proud to share that they have won the ‘Most Dementia Friendly Community Award’ at the Dementia Friendly Kent Awards 2023.

Having worked in the community for the last 9 years supporting people with dementia, the students and community Hub staff have been applauded and praised for the brilliant work they do with their Dementia Café, the most recent held on Sunday 7th May as a celebration for the Kings Coronation and they had an amazing turnout of 100 people!

The Dementia Friendly Awards took place on Friday 19th May at the County Showground in Detling, with Minister for Care, Helen Whately and Kent County Council Leader, Roger Gough present, to celebrate individuals, organisations and communities leading and inspiring a change that transform the lives of people with dementia forever, challenging misunderstandings, changing attitudes, and taking action.

The students from Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey had previously visited residents in care homes and invited them to Dementia Cafés at the Academy, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was no longer possible, and the students thought of new ways to continue their work.

Since the pandemic, students from the community Hub have consistently worked with Minster-On-Sea Parish Council, regularly hosted afternoon teas for the Salvation Army in Sheerness, the Sheppey Community Support Bus, collaborated with Big Local Eastern Sheppey, held stands at a St. George’s Day event at Beachfields Park with the Sheerness Town Council, delivered frequent Dementia Cafes, including refreshments at the Swale Dementia Event in Sittingbourne, and giving out gifts to residents of the Woodstock Care Home, Oakdene Care Home, Barton Court Care Home, Blackburn Lodge, Regis Manor and Hengist Field care homes too.

As a result of their continuous passion towards helping locals of Sheppey, the students had previously reached the national finals of the prestigious Goldsmith’s Community Award in 2021, where judges were impressed with the sheer knowledge and care the students held for those with dementia in particular.

Elaine Murray, Area Manager for Kent & Sussex, who also co-chairs The Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community Forum, was delighted and impressed to see how caring the students from Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey were with all of the visitors at the awards ceremony and commended them on all of their previous work in the community, one of which she handed them an award for personally.

Elaine said: “The students are absolutely phenomenal. They deserve a lot more recognition for all of the visits they conduct in and around Kent at care homes, hosting afternoon teas and their dementia cafes which always have such a brilliant turnout. Well done to them all.”

Academy Community Hub Leader, Paul Murray says: “A huge thank you to all of you. What an award to win today. You work so hard and so deserve it. The winning point I feel was the huge amount of support you gave to people during Covid and in the last 12 months since. The wonderful things people said about you today says so much about you and our school. Today you served over 300 people in that café.”

“These students are an absolute credit, they continue to honour our locals on the Isle of Sheppey by providing care and compassion, and I am incredibly proud of the young people for making the Dementia Café a possibility every single time, they deserve recognition for this.”

The award was sponsored by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

Sheppey students win Dementia Friendly Kent Awards
Himali Dolatessim