MEMBERS of Knutsford Methodist Church have set up a social café for people with dementia.
Paula Lambe, Eve James and Carol Cotton launched ‘The Friendship Café’ at the Princess Street church on January 13 as a place for people with dementia to go with their carers for socialising, music and activities.
The café, which runs every second and fourth Friday of the month, encourages people to come along and ‘be themselves’.
Paula told the Guardian that the first session was ‘amazing’ and resulted in a communal singalong with guests and volunteers.
“Quite a few people came along, more than I expected as it had been snowing, and 10 volunteers- all from the church,” she said. “We wanted the café to support people who have dementia and for carers to have support- we started it with that in mind.
“It was amazing on Friday. One man came in with his carer, everyone was sat around having coffee but he burst into song and then everyone started singing.
“That was lovely because we want people to come believing they can be themselves. His carer said it had been amazing, so warm, so friendly and so informal.”
Plans for the café began a year ago, after the closure of the previous ‘friendship café’ due to a lack of grants. Thanks to an anonymous donation, as well as help from local charities, the group was able to give the café a reboot.
The women have sourced resources to provide activities for guests including chair basketball and chair hoopla, arts and crafts, books, jigsaws and music.
“We wanted to help people in Knutsford who do not have a service,” added Paula. “We felt very strongly that we wanted to give them something.”
The café is free to attend. The next session is on Friday, January 27. To book in advance call 01565 652251 or 07816308505.
Anyone wishing to donate to the café can do so at Knutsford Methodist Church or by calling 01565 652251.