Creative Leadership Workshop at National Dementia Congress

I'm running a workshop next Wednesday (4th Dec) at the National Dementia Congress along with  Neil Maiden and Alise Kirtley from The Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice at City University London and our own Shula Hawes.

Creativity is not a gift of a chosen few, but a skill that can be developed with the use of evidence-based techniques. In dementia care, creative thinking plays a pivotal role in being able to offer services of highest quality; from leadership and workforce development through to person-centred practice and positive risk taking. In fact, the Care Quality Commission states that creativity and innovation are key differentiators between Good and Outstanding adult social care services.

Creative Leaders at a recent conference for the orders of St. John Care Trust

Creative Leaders at a recent conference for the orders of St. John Care Trust

In this workshop, Ladder to the Moon and City University London will explain and contextualise creativity in care, in the light of CQC guidance. They will demonstrate how creativity and innovation can be put into practice, with reference to their own tools and the impact these have caused.  

In small groups, participants will then use different creativity techniques (from Ladder to the Moon and City University London, including the digital tools Care’n’ Share and BeCreative in Care) to develop new ideas for providing person-centred care. Groups will consider real-life scenarios and discuss case studies of creative and innovative practice, to fuel their own ideas and self-reflection.

A short closing presentation will emphasise key factors in successful use of creative and innovative approaches, as well as the challenges. Participants will also be signposted to the resources that are available to support creative and innovative practice.

Who should attend:

This workshop will be of interest to care service owners, care commissioners, care practitioners, carers and people living with dementia.

Participants will gain:

  • Understanding of the role creativity and innovation in care, including how it can look in practice, the outcomes it can deliver and how it corresponds to CQC guidance.
  • A number of creative approaches to care challenges, as explored by the attendees together in the session, guided by an expert in creative thinking techniques.

Hope to see you there!


Dementia enhances creativity, so provide services that are just as creative.

I love this buzzfeed (4 words I hadn't expected to say together).

Particularly John's story:

'John Williams was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in January 2014, at the age of 70. Having dabbled in painting since his 50s, he was surprised to notice his natural technique changing. By the autumn his finely detailed brushstrokes had begun to give way to more abstract portraits; an “altered” style he found he really liked.'

“Alzheimer’s has changed my style of painting; it hasn’t changed my passion for art,”

For me this is one of the gifts and challenges of Dementia, the opportunity to look at the world in new ways. And it is the same challenge as for all of us wether we are living with Dementia or not, to stay true to ourselves and to also allow ourselves to grow. The reduced inhibition that Dementia can cause, often makes people more creative. Our challenge is to provide services that are as creative as they are!

Thanks to Des Kelly at NCF for sending this link my way

For more info about Ladder to the Moon's creative leadership visit

Ladder to the Moon finalists at the National Dementia Care Awards

I just got a great phone call from the guys at the National Dementia Care Awards to let me know that we're finalists in the Dementia Training Innovation category.

Chris Yakult Innovation award.JPG

Our Outstanding Activities programme has been shortlisted for the innovative training model, and more importantly the outcomes it causes for people living with Dementia. The outcomes show residents being able to contribute newly to their community or simply by enjoying themselves doing something unexpected, particularly with those at risk of social isolation

“ We did the Rural Radio Play with Rose (who rarely joins in anything involving speaking and listening) and I asked her to take a part….she read the part really well (although she says she can’t see well enough to read) and really got into the character. We all saw a different side of her louder and more confident.’

This was from an Activity Coordinator on our London Cohort. And as a result it's made a big difference to her relationship with other residents.

“Rose has enjoyed more attention from other residents since that day” 

There was also great joy and engagement from someone who hardly speaks

“the other good news from that day was we included ‘R’ who can scarcely speak due to having had a big stroke. No-one had mentioned pigs as essential to our farmyard noises and he suddenly contributed some brilliant pig noises which caused much laughter for everyone, including him.”

The programme has really boosted activity coordinators confidence, and changed the way people think about activities.

 “These boxes are going to absolutely change the way people look at activities. It’s absolutely brilliant.”

We're chuffed to bits to be nominated, and looking forward to the judging on the 19th October.

For more information on Outstanding Activities visit:

For more information on The National Dementia Care awards visit: