An acclaimed dementia training programme has seen a social care worker promoted to manager after the course strengthened her day centre’s care culture

Lesley Bownass, who is taking part in Meaningful Care Matters’ Free to Be Me dementia training course, has been promoted to manager at Senior Moments Care day centre, in Lytham St Anne’s, after successfully implementing The Butterfly Approach for its service users with dementia.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having had a significant impact on the social care sector, Lesley’s adoption of the dementia care model led to an increase in referrals to the home from Lancashire County Council, due to its excellent reputation.

The care and culture consultancy group’s ten-day modular programme, aims to educate leaders in dementia care on how the quality of life for people living with the condition can be positively transformed. 

Speaking of the success of implementing the course’s learnings into her day centre, Lesley said: “Since applying The Butterfly Approach, our numbers have increased tremendously, our reputation is glowing, and we get lots of referrals from the county council. When social workers visit us, they love what they see. We now have great reviews and go above and beyond a normal day centre.”

In response to the pandemic, the Free to Be Me course has been updated to reflect the challenges care providers have faced from a number of challenges, including personal protective equipment (PPE), infection control protocols, social distancing, social shielding, visitation restrictions of family and friends. 

Run by care consultants Luke Tanner and Sally Knocker, each course is broken into ‘threads’, which empower attendees to be able to articulate a truly person-centred approach in their respective settings, where people are free to be themselves. The course values emotional intelligence, domestic household living, and the core belief that everyone living with dementia has a unique story that deserves to be heard.

“It helps [carers] understand how those they care for think and feel. Ultimately, it promotes and encourages a person-centred environment where everyone feels valued and loved”

Lesley Bownass

Lesley continued: “Upon starting the course, I quickly realised I had naturally been applying The Butterfly Approach without knowing. The concept looks at how, in a dementia setting, a few quality moments in a day can make all the difference. I have always shared the importance of making people feel valued and needed.

“The course helps you to understand the reasons behind what you’re doing and its benefits. It also helps attendees to further understand how those they care for think and feel. Ultimately, it promotes and encourages a person-centred environment where everyone feels valued and loved.”

Lesley has been holding regular meetings with carers where she shares her learnings on The Butterfly Approach, and plans to host similar meetings in the future with service users’ family members.

Peter Bewert, Managing Director of Meaningful Care Matters, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Lesley utilise her training to create such a prosperous and thriving environment, during a challenging period. These courses aim to empower people to develop and nurture a person-centred care culture where people are ‘free to be me’. 

“Attendees are provided with the tools and knowledge to go away and establish an exemplary dementia care culture where people can live the best lives possible. We look forward to seeing other attendees like Lesley transform the culture of their services to create places where increased well-being is at the forefront of practices.”

To find out more about the Free to Be Me course, visit Alternatively, for more information on Meaningful Care Matters, please visit: