New Community Memory Café Offers Welcoming Safe Space in Southcote

Memory Cafe
New Memory Cafe in Southcote

A NEW Community Memory Café launched in Southcote with the aim of offering a welcoming space for people who are concerned about their memory or mental wellbeing.

The café, based in Café Alive at Grange Church in Southcote, launched on 14th November with the support of many local organisations, including Reading Council, NHS Memory Clinic, Home Instead, Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) and Tesco.

The memory café is run by volunteers from the community. Grange Church became Dementia friendly in 2017 and has continued to learn from other memory cafés across the county on how best to support individuals by bringing people together to socialise.

Grange volunteers Viv and Elspeth said: “We have wanted for some time to create a memory café in our community café. The idea was to create a safe, understanding, inspiring and creative space for people who are concerned about their memory or mental wellbeing. We are grateful for all the support we have received and now want to spread the word about the café.”

At its launch the café welcomed individuals and their carers to a friendly atmosphere with exercise from the Memory Clinic, a talk on museum artefacts from The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and a quiz compiled by the dedicated volunteers, who will be hosting the café each week on Wednesdays from 10.00am to 12.00pm.

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:I’m delighted the Council’s Wellbeing Team and a number of other local organisations have been able to support this Memory Café to get it off the ground. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this happen, especially the dedicated volunteers.

“We all want to make Reading a friendlier place.  Loneliness can affect any of us. Feeling connected is good for us – not just our mental but also our physical health.  Dementia progressively has an impact on individuals living with the condition, families and carers, but when communities become dementia-aware and dementia-friendly, as in this wonderful project, it can have a positive effect on promoting people’s ability to live independently for as long as possible. Families and carers also benefit from this approach as it can help support them to continue to care for someone living with dementia.”

The café cannot offer personal care or take responsibility for those attending but does encourage carers to attend and take advantage of the social space and support. The Grange welcomes more volunteers who are passionate in this area, to support the club. For more information, please contact Elspeth Jenkins on 07930950916 or email elspethjenkins@talktalk.net

The café can be found at Grange Church, Circuit Lane, Southcote, Reading RG30 3HD and runs every Wednesday from 10.00am to 12.00pm, apart from 26th December & 2nd January.

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For more information, please contact Elspeth Jenkins on 07930950916 or email elspethjenkins@talktalk.net

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957