A new memory café for older people, carers and people living with dementia was a great success on its first day.

The new Forget-me-Not café is the brainchild of local resident Diane Davis, whose husband lives with dementia. Diane felt that an additional memory café would be beneficial – not just to him, but to others as well. It will complement an existing monthly group in nearby Water Orton.

Working with St Joseph’s Care Home, the Coleshill Hub and Warwickshire County Council Diane launched the café on 23 January 2020.

There was a great turnout for the opening event, with people coming from Coleshill, Water Orton and surrounds.

Diane said she wanted the monthly café to be a fun and stimulating place for the person living with dementia, their carers and families.

As conversation flowed over arts and crafts, puzzles and games, it certainly seemed to have achieved that aim.

Shelley Perryman, Registered Manager at St Joseph’s Care Home where the café is held, worked closely with Diane to set it up.

She said: “Today’s about people having a chat and getting to know one another. There’s lots on for people to do and then they can have lunch together. It’s a good turnout, we’re very happy.”

Diane said that social isolation can be a huge problem for carers. So the café is an ideal opportunity for people to get out with their loved one and have some fun together. Carers can get some support too from people who are in a similar situation. It is somewhere to find peer support, a friendly face and a warm welcome.

Because it’s held at St Joseph’s, the café is supported by trained staff so carers can switch off for a while and relax knowing their loved one is having fun and is safe too.

Diane felt it was important to be inclusive, so the café is also open to anyone who is lonely and in need of company.

Many of the volunteers at the initial event were from Coleshill Bowls Club, which helped boost the fun atmosphere.

After the successful opening event, the café will take place on the third Thursday of the month from 12 - 3pm at St Joseph’s. It costs £3 per person, to include light lunch, tea or coffee and a range of activities.

To find out more, call St Joseph’s Care Home on 01675 434559 or contact Diane on 01675 464634.