West Sussex dementia support

Sage House 

Helping people living with dementia in West Sussex to stay safe and warm at home 

Our project at a glance 

  • Priority need group: Critical illness
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups to access tailored support services 
  • Support target: 1,500 households over two years  
  • Duration: March 2024 to March 2026 
  • Investment: £164,053 over two years 
  • Forecast SROI: £1.80 

People living with dementia, their families and carers face many challenges. Alongside the behaviour changes and anxiety caused by dementia, they have to navigate a complex and fragmented health and social care system. This funding will enable us to help people with dementia and their carers to remain safe and well in their own homes and will alleviate a huge source of concern

James Lovell

Head of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications, Sage House

Why we’re working together 

More than 944,000 people in the UK have dementia. It mainly affects people over 65 – one in 11 people over the age of 65 have dementia in the UK. Symptoms can include problems with memory loss, confusion, spatial awareness, understanding and decision-making. These symptoms mean that maintaining a safe and warm home can be a real challenge for people living with dementia.   

The West Sussex constituencies of Chichester, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton are in the top 2.5% in the UK for dementia prevalence.  

We’re partnering with West Sussex charity Dementia Support to provide energy safeguarding services at its purpose-built Sage House community hub in Chichester. From this hub, the charity delivers integrated dementia services to people living with the condition across the county.  

We’ll provide energy safeguarding support through the charity’s free-of-charge Wayfinding service, which delivers both practice advice and emotional support to help people living with dementia make sense of the journey ahead.  

Our programme with Sage House will not only support people with dementia, but it will also support other extremely vulnerable customer groups to access key services and live in safe and warm homes, including unpaid carers of those with dementia and older people.  

Project objectives 

  • Introducing energy advice and safeguarding services to the Wayfinding service and expanding the team’s capacity to support an additional 500 households 
  • Providing carbon monoxide safety advice to 1,500 vulnerable households and offering free CO alarms to households most at risk of CO harm 
  • Introducing a Wayfinding bus to provide advice to rural and isolated communities 
  • Delivering 125 community pop-up events in harder-to-reach communities  
  • Encouraging Sage House service users to sign up for the Priority Services Register
Media library image
A Sage House service user is sitting at a table talking to one of the charity's support workers

How we’re working together 

One-on-one energy advice 

The Wayfinding service allows everyone entering Sage House to talk to a professional for essential one-to-one support and advice throughout all stages of their dementia journey. 

As well as increasing capacity within the Wayfinding team, we’re providing energy safeguarding training to the Wayfinders so they can support people living with dementia to stay safe and warm at home. Our training will cover three key areas: gas safety, increasing energy efficiency and how to stay affordably warm.  

We’re also funding emergency fuel vouchers, should the Wayfinders identify a household in energy crisis. 

Wayfinding bus service 

Through our partnership, we’re introducing a new Wayfinding bus to expand the charity’s advice services to rural and isolated communities. This will allow us to reach people who aren’t able to come into Sage House.  

Community pop-ups 

In addition to our Wayfinding bus services, we’ll also be holding 125 pop-up community events in the most deprived communities within the county. At these events, we’ll offer one-on-one appointments for people living with dementia and their families to meet with a Sage House Wayfinder.  

Winter warmth social media campaign 

Ahead of winter 2024, we’ll deliver a winter warmth social media campaign. This campaign will be targeted at West Sussex residents ages over 65, providing information and guidance about energy safeguarding.