First community cafe session branded a success
- Credit: NSFT
Organisers of a new community cafe in Norwich are delighted with the response to its first monthly session.
About 20 people visited the first session, including six residents from Hethersett Hall care home, near Norwich, and patients from Hammerton Court, a specialist dementia care unit at Norwich's Julian Hospital, plus patients from the hospital's Sandringham Ward, which is for older people who have a functional mental illness.
The Hammerton Court Community Cafe initiative is being led by Age UK Norwich, an independent charity, and opens 11am to 1pm on the third Wednesday of every month in the unit's well-established cafe. It is being supported by Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), which runs the Julian Hospital.
The community cafe is open to all and anyone can just pop along, but it is particularly suitable for people, of any age group, who are lonely or who have a diagnosis of dementia or a functional mental illness, such as depression, schizophrenia, mood disorders or anxiety, and their carers.
Charlotte Kippin, community and neighbourhood support manager at Age UK Norwich, said: 'The people who went along were keen to engage and talk, and there was plenty of laughter – you can't really put a price on that.
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'Ali Pearce and Karen Joyce, who are reminiscence volunteers who work for Marks and Spencer, were there and were excellent ice-breakers.
'They had a suitcase containing food packaging from the 50s and 60s, a lady's bedjacket from over half a century ago and some old photos of Norwich, which they used to start conversations.'
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Ms Kippin said that Age UK Norwich is keen to hear from volunteers who would like to help at the community café. Reminiscence training will be provided.
The plan is for the monthly community cafe to develop so that advice can be provided to people attending, who will also have a chance to take part in activities such as boccia and curling, which people with limited mobility can join in. It also provides an opportunity for carers to take a break in a relaxing environment.
The next session will take place on Wednesday, November 21, from 11am to1pm.
• For more information contact Cathy Eden on 01603 496333 or firstname.lastname@example.org