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dementia aware

Quick Summary: An evaluation project, around the dementia-friendly measures among a defined subset of retail establishments within the city of Plymouth.

The importance of dementia from a public health perspective cannot be understated. The rapid medical advances leading to ever increasing survival rates has contributed to a demographic with a substantial aging population. While this is a development that deserves to be celebrated, it also means that the prevalence of conditions associated with ageing populations will continue to grow steadily. Dementia is a prime example of such a condition.

The Plymouth City Council has launched a laudable effort to transform Plymouth into a model dementia friendly city. MegaReach has had the privilege of being requested to design and implement a programme to evaluate the impact of these efforts.

A team of volunteer staff and students from the Plymouth University and a statistician from the University of Edinburgh collaborated in designing a methodical evaluation programme falling broadly under the Realistic Evaluation theory, first propagated by Ray Pawson and Nick Tilley (under the heading Realistic Evaluation) in 1997. We have since been granted programme level ethics approval to conduct the evaluation for 3 years commencing from 2016.

The first stage of the evaluation seeks to evaluate the dementia friendly measures among a defined subset of retail establishments in the Plymouth City itself, together the experiences of individuals and carers undergoing a special programme delivered by Memory Matters South West CIC targeted at those diagnosed with dementia. MegaReach feel especially privileged to be a part of this collaboration which will enhance its access to the commercial sector of Plymouth, an area that has not been explored before. As always our services come entirely free of charge, with the only proviso being that we will be allowed to publish the findings of the evaluation. If you have a project/initiative that may benefit from evaluation, please do contact us through



I started studying for my medical degree in 2013. I am working with a team to get Plymouth more ‘Dementia Friendly’. Dementia is something that will only ever become more apparent in our lives and medically, is ever changing. So, having the opportunity to work closely with our community is really exciting! I hope that this Programme will enable Plymouth to be more aware about Dementia and make those affected by this disease feel more a part of this community too.

A message from the Coordinator of European Projects...


Hello, my name is Alina Beltechi and I really hope that together we can bring a change to the world, however small, and help real people in need.


 I trained as a medical doctor and, after graduation, along with continuing my medical training in Medical Imaging and Clinical Pharmacology, I started a career in academia, teaching Pharmacology to third year medical students back home, in Romania. Following the completion of my PhD in Pharmacology, a few years later, I was offered the prestigious post – doctoral Blaschko Fellowship at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford. In Oxford, I spent more than 9 years, taking up a position of post-doctoral researcher and looking at autonomic neurotransmitter release and how nerves talk to each other and to other organs. During all this time I continued to teach pharmacology to first year medical and physiology students. From Oxford I moved to Reading School of Pharmacy as a Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, before being offered my current position at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. At present I combine my teaching responsibilities as a Lecturer in Pharmacology with other administrative and leadership roles within the school.


I am really thrilled to get involved with MegaReach because I believe firmly that, not only as doctors, but as human beings we have the duty to lend a hand and help others less fortunate. It is part of our nature and it should define who we are. So please get involved with us and, to finish where I have started, let’s bring a change to the world, however small.

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