The Old Library Trust DEEDS (Dementia Engaged & Empowered in Derry & Strabane) Project delivered a unique Dementia Conference asking people to Engage, Empower and Pledge to do more to create a Dementia friendly city and district.

The DEEDS project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund hosted  the conference on Tuesday 16th May in the City Hotel celebrating the first phase of the DEEDS project itself,  as well as launching the new phase of work including the introduction of the new training and education programme. The conference attracted carers and families of those with dementia, professionals working in the field of older adults & dementia as well as local community and statutory organisations. It also attracted local businesses who were looking to learn more about how they can better support people with dementia when using their services.

The Mayor Sandra Duffy opened the conference and welcomed everyone to the event.

Paul Sweeney, Chair NI Committee of the National Lottery Community Fund spoke about how delighted Lottery were to be funding the second phase of the DEEDS project.

Eddie Lynch, Older People’s Commissioner spoke about the importance of community intervention for dementia.

Ciara Burke, Age Friendly Officer, DCSDC talked about the council’s wish for the city and district to become dementia friendly.


Neil Guckian, Chief Executive Officer, WHSCT spoke about the challenges facing the trust with waiting lists and the joint partnership with projects like DEEDS to help find solutions to those challenges. One of the new elements of the DEEDS project is developing a new Pre-Diagnosis programme in partnership with the Trust.

Deirdre Harkin Lecturer in Adult Nursing Ulster University Magee spoke about the partnership with DEEDS who deliver Tier One Training to the first year nurses and paramedics each year.

Jim Roddy Manager City Centre Initiative spoke about the importance of training for businesses and services and cited the recent training of security guard staff by DEEDS which is helping staff in their roles.

Participants took part in a short immersive experience in their break out groups.

Staff Member Wendy interviewed a carer Deborah Keys who has since become a volunteer with DEEDS.

George McGowan OLT Director, closed the conference asking for those present to make a pledge for dementia on the butterflies in their packs.

Deeds partnership: Strabane & District Caring Services , Hillcrest Trust, Learmount Community Development Group (Park), Caw Nelson Drive Action Group and some of our wonderful volunteers.

And Mellow DEEDS our amazing choir closed proceedings in style with their renditions of “That’s Amore” and “Bring Me Sunshine”. A perfect end to a wonderful day!