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Registered Charity 1092268

Cuimhne Dementia Awareness Training

Cuimhne is a culturally sensitive dementia awareness training programme that aims to promote new and evidence–based ways of thinking about dementia and is geared towards the needs of different groups.

Cuimhne cup


Cuimhne, pronounced “queevna”, is the Irish word for memory. It’s a culturally–sensitive, person–centred approach to learning about dementia. Although many good training courses are available, they tend to be geared towards staff working in care settings, rather than volunteers offering luncheon clubs, social activities and those befriending or supporting carers. They rarely take sufficient account of the cultural needs of people from minority ethnic groups.

This training can be provided at five different levels and is aimed at people living with dementia mostly in their own homes in the community. It promotes new and evidence–based ways  of thinking about dementia which keeps the person with dementia and their carers at the centre of learning. The workshops are interactive and are geared towards the needs of each group with certain core elements.

Training types

Dementia Awareness 

Aimed at: Luncheon clubs, people participating in services or social activities in community organisations, faith communities or cultural groups.

This is a general awareness–raising session lasting two to three hours. The aim is to:

Level 1: Basic dementia training 

Aimed at: Volunteers, befrienders or staff who may come in contact with people with memory loss/dementia in the course of their volunteering or work.

These one–day workshops aim to:

The value of diagnosis, referral procedures, assessment processes and support for the individual and carer through the diagnostic journey will be covered. Basic communication skills and strategies for coping with memory loss will be also explored.

Level 2: Dementia friendly environments

Aimed at: Staff, volunteers or befrienders supporting people living with dementia and their carers in luncheon clubs, day services or relevant social enterprises.

These one day workshops that aim to:

The focus is on the “person” rather than the dementia and explores the impact of the physical, social and cultural environment on behaviour and quality of life.

Level 3: Dementia care

Aimed at:Those working or volunteering mainly with people with memory loss/dementia, such as in dementia cafes, memory projects or groups for carers.

These one day workshops aim is to:  

The workshop will explore ways of meeting the needs of family carers and will signpost them to benefit and service entitlements. It will also include activities that maximise memory, improve quality of life, strengthening and maintaining links with culture and community.

Level 4: Meaningful activity and engagement – Day one.

Aimed at: those working or volunteering mainly with people with memory loss/dementia, or wanting to offer therapeutic activities in day centres, dementia cafes, memory projects or community organisations. 

A major aim of the workshops are to explore the importance of meaningful occupation which enhances individual and cultural identity, maintains memory and cognition, improves quality of life and extends independence. Workshops will focus on how culturally appropriate activities such as music, singing, storytelling can provide enjoyment, social interaction and help people express themselves.

Level 4: Meaningful activity and engagement – Day two 

This second workshop aims to prepare staff or volunteers to provide specific activities for people with dementia, building on and applying the principles covered in day one. This workshop focuses on one or possibly two specific activities and can be customised to meet the needs of a particular organisation or group of clients. This might include activities such as individual and group reminiscence, cognitive stimulation, oral history, inter–generational projects, creative writing, musical memories, life–story books, memory boxes etc.

Customised training

Training can be delivered at different levels according to the needs of individual organisations, groups of staff or volunteers. Workshops can be customised to meet the needs of a particular organisation, group of staff or volunteers, ethnic or religious community. Training is facilitated by experienced professionals and we welcome enquiries from organisations who are not Irish.


See what people told us about our Cuimhne workshops.


Some organisations may be eligible for free training but may be asked to provide the venue and refreshments for participants and travel for facilitators. Charges otherwise relate to income, group size and where the training is undertaken.


Contact Irish in Britain for more information about these workshops.

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