The DEEDS team were in Ulster University for two days last week training the first year nurses before they went out on their placement.

“What will you bring from the Dementia Education Programme Tier 1” asked Dr Deirdre Harkin of her students. Deirdre is a lecturer in Adult Nursing in the School of Nursing and Paramedic Science.  

The students were led through an immersive experiential session learning how the five senses can impact on dementia. 330 students and 3 DEEDS volunteers were trained and learned to walk in the shoes of someone living with dementia. Out of one group 89% strongly agreed that the training met their expectation. 93% agreed that the experiential exercises increased empathy and understanding of dementia. 89% felt confident to put this learning into action. “Course was fantastic” wrote one nurse.

“Opened my eyes” wrote another. “Absolutely loved this training” and “Such passion in the volunteers/Staff” were two other comments in the evaluations.

” We really welcome this partnership we have with Ulster University” said Sinead Devine Deeds Co-ordinator . “Everything we do in DEEDS helps us to take one more step towards a dementia friendly region for Derry and Strabane. Training the nurses in Tier 1 is certainly helping us to achieve this as these young nurses represent the future support for those with dementia in our hospital and community care settings”.

A big thank you to Dr Deirdre Harkin and Aoife Conway at Ulster University for all the support on the day to help make the training such a success. And also to our amazing volunteers – we couldn’t do this without you!