'Remember When...' dementia cafe for all

by Ruth Bartles in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

'Remember When...'  dementia cafe for all
We did it
On 17th February 2017 we successfully raised £7,160 with 133 supporters in 42 days

To open a café that supports and celebrates people living well with dementia within the community.

by Ruth Bartles in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Amazing, thank you to everyone for supporting! I will be able to use this extra funding to have a sign made for the cafe, and signage in the local area. I'll also be able to have leaflets printed with a timetable of activties and exhibitions, which can be distributed to care homes, libraries, GP surgeries etc. This will spread the word far and wide and we'll be able to support even more people :)

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK now. Fear of dementia is high, there is a reluctance to speak about it and few people understand that it’s possible to live well with dementia.

‘Remember When …’ will be an exciting new venue serving fresh, healthy food for everyone. It will be open Monday – Saturday, and will celebrate people who are living well with dementia and memory loss by providing tailored support, advice and activities.

I have chosen a business to buy and am using my redundancy money which covers some of it, but now I need help to raise the remaining money.

Listen to my radio interview! I appear at 1hr 38mins :) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04lw6r1

 'Remember When ...' will improve the lives of everyone touched by dementia and memory loss. It will -

  • provide support and information for those living with dementia and memory loss, and their carers,
  • raise awareness and reduce stigmatisation,
  • bring the community closer to new research.

People living with dementia and memory loss, and carers

A memory wall for people to add photos and messages of someone they care for or have cared for will compliment a range of photos of Sheffield from the past. This will invoke memories and provide focal points for conversations, encouraging both people living with dementia and carers to make new connections in the community. Regular activities will take place for people living with dementia and memory loss to take part in and make new friends, while at the same time their carers can have a break and talk to other people in similar situations. People can join wellbeing and advice sessions (eg craft groups, physical needs and adjustments, exercise and healthy eating). The café will also host small exhibitions such as a gallery of art produced by people living with dementia, events featuring music from set periods of time, and food tastes from the past.

Raising awareness and reducing stigmatisation

Being open to the whole community, ‘Remember When …’ will provide a place for people living with dementia and carers to remain part of the community and meet and engage with family and groups of friends. The community will see people living with dementia and memory loss as part of the community and joining in group activities, will see their art exhibitions and memory photos, and will also have easy access to information/leaflets that provide information about dementia and memory loss, and signposting to support services. Customers will be welcome to volunteer in the café, whether they are someone living with dementia, memory loss, a carer or otherwise.

Bringing the community closer to research

The café will provide information about dementia research happening at Sheffield's universities and beyond and present opportunities to become part of the research. It will also provide ‘plain English’ messages about research activity and outcomes. For example, visitors may choose to work with researchers to help design creative strategies for the development of future living environments in which people of all ages and abilities are enabled and empowered to live with dignity, independence and fulfilment.

I am discussing my plans with lots of people and will continue to do so, to make sure my cafe supports the community well and links to other activities and services in Sheffield. These include the Alzheimer’s Society, Sheffield Mind, Age Better in Sheffield, Sheffield Dementia Alliance, and a number of academics from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. Everyone has been very supportive and think that this new venue will fulfil a need to help people live well with dementia.

I'd really appreciate any help to make this happen - thank you for reading :) x

Here's my blog if you'd like to follow my journey


@Auntyruth on Twitter


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A major big thank you from me

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A big thank you and be one of the first to add a photo to the memory wall

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Add a photo to the memory wall and enjoy a free lunch

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Add a photo to the memory wall and be invited to the opening event

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