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Four Rivers Dementia Alliance

About Us


  • To share ideas and develop resources and partnership projects
  • To build dementia friendly communities and villages in the Four Rivers area
  • To promote good practice by raising awareness of dementia within our communities,
  • To encourage inclusivity and reduce the stigma and lack of knowledge about dementia.


The Four Rivers Dementia Alliance (4RDA) was originally conceived by the innovators of Dementia Friendly Parishes around the Yealm. The success of that organisation encouraged them to expand the idea to work with Ivybridge town and 19 surrounding rural parishes, bordering not only the Yealm but also the rivers Plym, Erme, and Avon.  Many people are involved in both groups.

A small start up grant was awarded by South Hams District Council, plus a contribution from a local Rotary Club and Grapevine Transport. With advice and support from South Hams CVS, the 4RDA set out to work with rural parishes and Ivybridge Town Council, in order to improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families, and carers.


The first conference was held in 2016 at The Watermark in Ivybridge with the help of South Brent & District Caring, to publicise the existence of the group and to identify needs in the local communities. 

A second conference in 2018 - 'Let's Talk About Dementia in Our Communities' – had some key speakers; Sir Gary Streeter, MP; Ian Sherriff, BEM, Academic Lead for Dementia at Plymouth University; Dr Edmund Jack, G.P.; and Heather Penwarden, President of the Devon Federation of WIs. It gave us the chance to assess the progress of establishing local dementia friendly communities and to receive suggestions and requests for expanding our aims.

Our latest conference took place on 25 March 2022 at The Watermark in Ivybridge.  Guest speakers included: Sir Gary Streeter M.P. Ian Sherriff B.E.M. of Plymouth University, Hilary Cragg, Partner at Nash & Co and Ben Kerswell of the Argyle Community Trust. Other speakers included Ella Peters, Development Worker at the time for the 4RDA, and members of the 4RDA as well as Maxine Kennedy from Dementia Friendly Parishes Around the Yealm and Jane Sullivan from South Brent Caring. There were over 100 attendees at the conference with issues discussed from Government social and economic initiatives, the latest research into dementia and projects in progress to communities' initiatives and actions, the current legal stance on supporting people with dementia as well as personal stories of caring for a relative living with dementia. Download the Conference Programme (pdf).

National Lottery

We made a successful application for a grant in 2020 from the 'Awards for All' programme that enabled us to employ a part-time Development Worker for one year initially, to further our aims by working with local organisations and councils. Currently, we have put forward a bid to extend the programme for an additional two years starting in mid 2024.

Join Us

The 4RDA is an inclusive voluntary organisation.  Anyone interested in improving the lives of people living with dementia their families and carers is welcome at our meetings held every 6 weeks. Come along and find out more about us, tell us what you have to offer in support or services, or suggest ways to advance our aims, or tell us of your concerns and what you need in your communities.

Contact Us

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The Team

Liz Hitchins


Tel: 01752 880715

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Steven Parker Davidson


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Linda Pearce


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Small steps make a big difference for people living with dementia and their families, carers and communities