Hartley Memory Café
The decision to set up a Memory Café in Hartley was based upon the success of an earlier local intergenerational project.The first project involved many members of the community supporting each other to raise awareness of Dementia. The second project involved setting up a community-led ‘Memory Café’. My idea initially benefitted from support via community members and the Altzeimers & Dementia Support Service (ADSS).
The venue was provided by West Kent Housing Association and supported by local residents who were trained and DBS vetted; these volunteers are now actively running the monthly Café.
The café has now been running since August 2014 and is proving to be a huge support to those people who attend it. For the group to make a difference it has to be driven by the community members as they are the people who live through daily experiences of dementia with their family member(s).
Initially the group took some time to establish but with local advertising, word of mouth and sign-posting from other agencies the numbers have grown enormously. Feedback from caregivers is constantly sought to ascertain the group is meeting everyones’ needs.
The purpose of this group is to provide support to members allowing them to feel empowered by sharing their feelings and experiences, learning more about the condition and giving caregivers an opportunity to talk through problems they are facing or choices they have to make.