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Kirsty Marrs |26, May, 2022

EPIC was proud to host a workshop and sponsor the Cornwall Dementia Conference which brought together a wide range of staff working across health and social care, volunteers and representatives from dementia support agencies, carers and people living with dementia gathered together on Thursday 19th May 2022 for the Cornwall Dementia Conference at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay. With over 100 attendees and very nearly another 1,500 people watching the livestream through CHAOS TV, the conference proved to be a great success and the main event in helping to raise awareness for dementia care during Dementia Action Week (16 – 22 May 2022).

The conference was co-developed and hosted by Truro and Penwith College’s REACH Cornwall project (part of ESF Business Clusters) and key members of the Cornwall Dementia Partnership Board. A vibrant programme focusing on non-medical therapies and approaches was opened with a powerful and moving performance by Haylo Theatre. Other keynote speakers and workshop leads expertly illustrated how theatre, music, cognitive stimulation therapy, nature and activity can support the wellbeing of people living with dementia and their careers. Importantly, the conference also launched the Cornwall Dementia Training Standards Framework; a free educational programme for all staff required to support people with dementia in health and community care settings across the county.

It was clear from the overwhelmingly positive feedback received that those attending in person and viewing online left, not only with new knowledge and strategies, but also a sense of wellbeing and optimism about how they could use non-medical therapies in dementia care.

Kirsty Marrs, supported by Matt Silver from EPIC eHealth, hosted a workshop ‘Cuddling robotic cats’ all about how technology can be used to support those living with Dementia, particularly companion animals “Our session was well attended, with full of plenty of smiles and great conversations about how technology can be used to assist clinicans and carers to support others, including considerations around infection control. We enjoyed delivering the workshop as much as those who attended enjoyed meeting the cats and Paro!”

Organisers reported overwhelmingly positive feedback from those attending face-to-face and virtually. Michelle D an online delegate said “That stands out as one of the best morning sessions to a conference ever. Thank you!

Lisa Dann, Carer, said “The speakers were so passionate and inspirational! The workshop provided a good example of an activity/ideas that can be replicated. It was thought provoking, engaging and prompted lots of discussion”.

 Julie Cherry, REACH Cornwall Project Coordinator at the College commented “REACH Cornwall would like to thank the Atlantic Hotel, CHAOS TV, healthcare speakers, delegates, exhibitors, attendees, and everybody who made the conference possible. This is the largest livestream audience for training, or an event delivered by the project to date, and the team hope it will assist with raising awareness and supporting individuals and organisations caring for those with dementia.” For anyone who missed the conference can see an edited replay of the livestream at


The project works with social care, healthcare, and early years providers across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to ascertain training needs and develop innovative solutions to address those needs which are piloted free of charge. On Thursday 16 June 2022, the project is offering half-day taster sessions covering Supported Self-Management which will explore person-centered care. For more information or to book a place, contact the team at



REACH Cornwall is an initiative for the social care, health sector and early years sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  The project is part of ESF Business Clusters which is part-funded by the European Social Fund and delivered by Truro and Penwith College.  As an employer-led forum, REACH Cornwall offers those working across these sectors the opportunity to:

  • network
  • work collaboratively to identify skills shortages and develop tailored training packages
  • discuss wider issues (e.g. recruitment and retention) and possible solutions, and ultimately
  • Raise Excellence and Aspiration in Care and H