How to Set Up One

Updated on: 23-Jun-2016

NZDC Network Groups

Purpose: The purposeof the Network Groups is to provide an opportunity for people to meet others, share information and learn aboutnew developments and approaches to dementia care. They are also valuable placesto test ideas and approaches, as discussion in the groups is dynamic andimmediate.

Process: People who belong to the network groups are very enthusiastic about them and appreciate the opportunity the group gives them to meet others in the sector and share knowledge and experience. However, it's not easy to maintain a successful group, and the following are suggestions for meeting processes from groups that have operated successfully over time.

Meeting Times: The meetings are 2 hours, face-to-face, everytwo months. The meeting timing is:

  • 15minutes for introductions. Members of the group speak about their role.
  • 45minutes for a speaker or speakers
  • 30minutes as an informal mix and mingle

Communication & Invitations: Group Coordinators aim to limitcommunications to Network Group members so that they are not overloaded. Oneemail is sent at the beginning of each month with any information that needs tobe passed to members. Other emails are only sent if they are urgent and theinformation can't wait until the following month to be passed on. A calendarinvitation is emailed soon after the monthly email. Approximately 25 - 30% ofNetwork Group members attend the meetings each time.

Coordination & Governance: Network Group Coordinators are a named person so members know who their contact is.The Coordinator role can be rotated within the group, but the success of thegroup rests on the Coordinator's commitment to the organization of theprogramme and meetings, and communication with group memebers. It takes anaverage of 2 hours per week to coordinate the group. There is a Steering Group ideally madeup of 4-5 members, including the coordinator, from a mix of workplaces. A one hour Steering Groupmeeting is held every three months. At this meeting, the Steering group checkson how people think the group is going, and discusses and plans the futureprogramme/activity.

Information Sharing: To ensure the Network Groups meettheir objective, the meeting programme and information shared is very focusedon dementia. Documents from the meeting, including presentations, are emailed tothe group members if appropriate, and are posted on the NZDC website. Attendess receive an attendance certificate for that meeting that recognises their attendance and details the subjects covered at the meeting.


  • Recruitment  of steering group members
  • Set up and maintenance ofaccurate and current database and email group
  • Chairing of steering groupmeetings (one hour meetings x 4 a year)
  • Actioning of  the plan from steering group meetings, i.e.organise guest speakers/prepare content for network meetings
  • Coordinate venue booking
  • Put together a monthly email oflocal dementia related news/events
  • Calendar invite to meetings(appears to be most effective a week or so ahead of meeting, also gives moreaccurate idea of how many people are likely to attend)
  • Create and print certificate ofattendance for meeting attendees (example attached)
  • Facilitate network meetings
  • Record list of meetingattendees
  • Write up summary of meetingsand place on NZDC website

Feedback: A recent commentfrom the Invercargill group was, "It's great to see so many clinicians in thesame room, talking together in one place at one time!"

Contact: If you areinterested in running a local network group, please contact the NZDC Director,Shereen Moloney at If you would like to find out more, and talk to someone who is already running a group, pleasecontact Emma Fromings, the Coordinator of the Wellington Region Community Network,at .