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Help us to support the wellbeing and mental stimulation of people living with dementia in South Gloucestershire through group programmes.

Find out how Vernon, Doug and Ian found friendship through an Age UK dementia support group as part of the MCST pilot programme.


What's MCST?

Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) is a weekly one- to two-hour-long programme for people living with mild to moderate dementia.

Group members take part in meaningful and stimulating activities either in person or online, proven to help maintain memory and mental functioning. The groups provide a fun, supportive environment where people can build new friendships.

Activities include:
• discussions
• word games
• quizzes
• physical activities
• creative and musical activities.

Why is MCST so important?

After someone is diagnosed with dementia, they may be offered Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). This is a short-term programme for people with mild to moderate dementia and usually runs twice weekly for seven weeks following diagnosis.

However once this programme finishes, there’s limited provision of services for people with mild to moderate dementia. MCST is a longer-term programme based in community settings which helps to fill this gap.

Cognitive Stimulation is the only non-drug treatment recommended to improve cognition, independence and well-being by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

How can I get involved with MCST at Age UK South Gloucestershire?

Age UK South Gloucestershire are launching a brand new MCST programme in July. We will be delivering two face-to-face and one virtual group each week. Face to face sessions last two hours and virtual sessions are an hour. We have 3 different volunteering opportunities supporting MCST:

• Activity Support Volunteer
• Greeter and Refreshment Volunteer
• Online Activity Support Volunteer