The Memory Café in Warrington has been running since July 2016, inspired by the example set in Milton Keynes. Fay Walker, who co-founded the Memory Café in Warrington, tells us how they’re celebrating their first birthday…
We’re so proud of how the Memory Café in Warrington has grown over the last year. The number of people visiting the Memory Café varies from month to month, but awareness of the Café is certainly increasing with more visitors attending each time.
The Memory Café is held at the MacIntyre Café at Fairfield and Howley Community Centre, which is open to the public, so we’ve been successful in reaching out to people who may not have heard of the Memory Café otherwise. The aim is to create a safe space for people with or affected by dementia to come together; people with dementia can often become socially isolated and we hope to provide opportunities for people to meet others. We have information about dementia at the Café, but the main focus is on creating community connections for people in a warm, welcoming environment.
Each month, the Memory Café takes on a different theme, with the activities centred on whatever the theme may be. Last year featured a summer theme with sand, beach balls and ice cream; there was also a Christmas theme with paper-chain making and a Christmas sing-a-long and a relaxation theme with hand massages and essential oils. In April, we had our biggest Memory Café yet which had a musical theme, with live music and an impromptu karaoke session! Warrington Hospital Radio came along to interview some of the people who attended, which will be aired in the next couple of months.
This month we will celebrate the first anniversary of the Warrington Memory Café – how time flies! We will be marking the special occasion with a Birthday theme including cake, games and possibly even a picnic in the park if the weather holds!
We are hoping to continue to spread the word about the Memory Café so that more people can benefit from it. Everyone who has attended has said how much they enjoy it, and usually people who attend once become a ‘regular’. It is particularly lovely to see people who have no connection to MacIntyre enjoying the Memory Café and the experience it offers. We’re looking forward to the next few Memory Cafés and hope to see lots of new faces!
For more information about the Warrington Memory Café, please contact Fay by emailing email@example.com