Norwich restaurant hosts first dementia friendly lunch

Farmyard restaurant, St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Picture: Jacob Massey

Farmyard restaurant, St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Picture: Jacob Massey - Credit: Archant

A restaurant in Norwich has hosted its first dementia-friendly lunch service.

Andrew Jones, owner and head chef at Farmyard, Norwich, and his wife and business partner, Hannah Sp

Andrew Jones, owner and head chef at Farmyard, Norwich, and his wife and business partner, Hannah Springham. Picture: Jacob Massey - Credit: Archant

The service at Farmyard, in St Benedict's Street, was designed to facilitate a comfortable dining experience for those living with dementia and their carers.

The lunches will now run on a quarterly basis.

Hannah Springham, 35, shareholder at the restaurant and wife of owner and head chef Andrew Jones, 37, was inspired to begin the initiative after experiencing first-hand the difficulties of going out for a meal with somebody living with dementia.

Mrs Springham said: 'My mum had dementia before she passed away and eating out was challenging for a number of reasons.

The dementia-friendly menu at Farmyard restaurant, Norwich. Picture: Jacob Massey

The dementia-friendly menu at Farmyard restaurant, Norwich. Picture: Jacob Massey - Credit: Archant


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'For her it was difficult navigating the menu, knowing where the loos are and generally feeling as though she was in a safe place.

'But it was also challenging for us making sure we didn't lose her and ensuring she was relaxed.

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'Whenever we went to places that understood the disease, it made for a much better experience for all of us and we want to be a place like that which is accepting of everyone.'

The staff at the restaurant recently received dementia training from Age UK Norwich - a service made available to all businesses free of charge - and a dementia-friendly picture menu was used for the lunch.

There are currently 54 businesses in Norwich that have joined the Dementia Action Alliance, headed up by Age UK Norwich, with Farmyard becoming the second restaurant after the Assembly House to join the alliance.

Mr Jones said: 'Dementia awareness is obviously something really close to our hearts and when we found out about Age UK's dementia friendly initiative, we wanted to get involved and make life easier for people living with dementia and their carers.

'These people should be able to go out and enjoy doing simple things like having a meal and we want to make that as doable as possible.'

Susan Ringwood, chief executive of Age UK Norwich, is glad to see so many businesses getting on board in Norwich.

She said: 'We're really delighted that so many businesses and people in the city have joined up to be part of the Dementia Action Alliance, making Norwich a dementia-friendly city and making a real difference to people living with dementia.'

The next dementia-friendly lunch will be on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Book via www.farmyardrestaurant.com or call 01603 733188 from Tuesday to Saturday.

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