Dementia Community Research Network celebrates in style!

The Dementia Community Research Network (DCRN) turns one this year, and what better way to celebrate than to showcase the incredible work of Network members and start a conversation about better, more inclusive, dementia care? On Thursday 9 May 2024, the DCRN held its first community engagement event to do just that…

The DCRN is a network of public, community, and research partners from across South London. We are connected though our shared goal of better care for all people affected by dementia, by giving equitable opportunities to people of all backgrounds and ethnicities to be involved in dementia research.

With thanks to generous funding from the British Society of Gerontology, and hosting by King’s College Hospital, we welcomed well over 50 guests to our event, including people living with dementia and their relatives, community staff from the voluntary sector, clinical and managerial staff from the NHS and dementia care researchers.

Over refreshments, guests could learn more about the amazing work of different voluntary services providing support to people affected by dementia in the community, including Alzheimer’s Society Lewisham, Age UK Lewisham and Southwark, Arts 4 Dementia, HomeInstead and Froglife.

Guests could also learn about different research projects on dementia care undertaken at King’s College London and University College London, including work on Day Centres, Spiritual care in Care Homes, the EMBED-Care project, the PriDem project, A Right to Be Heard policy brief, and the Science Gallery exhibition, Dementia Journeys.

There was opportunity for guests to learn about how to get involved with research from Join Dementia Research and the Cicely Saunders Institute Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) forum.

We enjoyed music from incredible baritone soloist and accordionist, Alistair Sutherland, and poetry from public members, including that from DCRN member, Margaret Ogden:

An invite to write verse for the DCRN event

A golden opportunity, that was heaven sent

The topic – dementia in those from an ethnic background

Who are too often not heard, that’s what we’ve found

Our aim – to create a safe and engaging space

Is one of the challenges we had to face


Openings for training and knowledge exchange

Are further objectives, we have covered a range

Not forgetting that researchers had a crucial part to play

In making sure PPI members also have their say

I hope you all have an informative afternoon

For me, as always, it will be over too soon.

—Margaret Ogden, DCRN public member

The aim of the event was to showcase the DCRN and to start conversations around how we can improve dementia care by ensuring support for people from all ethnic backgrounds to be involved in dementia research. We achieved this aim, and more, having expanded the Network and learning more about what people want to see from dementia care services and the amazing work being done to make this a possibility.

We hope you can join us for our next chapter as we continue to work towards connecting communities for better dementia care.

With special thanks to all DCRN members who gave their time and energy to help organise and host the event, and to Tofunmi Aworinde for his exceptional photography on the day.

There are 900,000 people living in the UK with dementia today. For those from minoritised ethnic communities, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase seven times by 2040. Research can help to improve access to dementia services and the quality of dementia care, but opportunities for people from minoritised ethnic communities to be involved in research are lacking. The DCRN aims to change this.

For more information, please contact:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *