We are a Registered Charity dedicated to providing a range of quality, accessible, creative & relevant support services, activities & opportunities for people living with all stages of dementia (or significant cognitive impairment) and their family carers & supporters within the Bedford area.
We know that as soon as a person is diagnosed with dementia they can easily become isolated and excluded. This makes their struggle so much harder. They quickly suffer from the stereotypes which are associated with the later stages of dementia, which mean that most people just don't understand how to relate to them. We at Tibbs Dementia Foundation understand this and aim, through providing a variety of groups and activities, to walk alongside them and those who care for them, creating a genuinely dementia friendly community.
Tibbs Dementia Foundation takes its name from Margaret-Anne Tibbs, who is known both locally & nationally for her lifelong work in the field of the psycho-social care of people with dementia. Margaret-Anne's career as a dementia-specialist Social Worker included working with Prof. Tom Kitwood, who pioneered the shift away from the purely medical approach to dementia, towards the Rogerian person-centred model. As well as her long association with Alzheimer's Society, Margaret-Anne later also worked as a dementia trainer and writer - publishing books, individual chapters and articles on the subject.
In 2013 Sarah Russell (currently our CEO) and Jeni Melia (our lead Music Therapist) came together with Margaret-Anne to create Tibbs Dementia Foundation - initially as a Community Interest Company (CIC) - so that a successful local music therapy service (Music 4 Memory) could continue as a separate entity following the sudden & unexpected loss of its funding. Soon after the CIC was founded, Bedford Borough Council made some grant funding available to start other groups for people with dementia and their family carers - which enabled us to develop & expand services quickly.
Tibbs Dementia Foundation gained Charity status in 2016 and has now grown to provide over 25 regular services (plus numerous special events & activities), assisting around 250 people every month to have positive experiences and live well with dementia. We keep our overheads deliberately low - preferring to use communication technology rather than maintaining an office. Further, as a local charity, free from the constraints & bureaucracy of a national organisation, we are able to rapidly adapt to the changing needs of our client base and the community as a whole.
Our aim is to help people to live the best life they possibly can with dementia. We do not work in the traditional way - instead using the Co-Production Model which empowers the members of our Tibbs Dementia community to contribute to the best of their ability. Our Community Capacity approach means that we work with existing local communities, utilise the specific skill-sets of volunteers and collaborate with numerous organisations – to achieve our goal of creating a truly dementia-friendly community.