Thriving dementia café in Wymondham to open another day

The Pabulum Cafe, Wymondham. Left to right, Ian Hall from Handelsbanken, Willie Cruickshank from Nor

The Pabulum Cafe, Wymondham. Left to right, Ian Hall from Handelsbanken, Willie Cruickshank from Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, Colin Foulger from Wymondham Dementia Support Group, Peter Daines from Handelsbanken.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A thriving weekly dementia café in Wymondham which has supported hundreds in its six years is to open on a second day.

The Pabulum Cafe, Wymondham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Pabulum Cafe, Wymondham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Currently the Pabulum Café runs from 10am to 1pm on Fridays at the Fairland Church Centre, with a popular sports club next door at the hall.

The group, which started with just six visitors in 2009, has inspired similar cafés elsewhere in the county with its glowing testimonials from users and its work to support carers as well as those living with dementia.

Now, from the New Year, it will also open from 10am to 12pm on the first Monday of the month.

Trevor Brown, president and founder of the group, said: 'It will be more of a quiet a café - what we have found is that when new people come we sometimes aren't able to give them the time we would like to, because we have become so busy.

The Pabulum Cafe, Wymondham. Volunteers, left, Rob Skegg and Tony Shead in their new garden.Picture:

The Pabulum Cafe, Wymondham. Volunteers, left, Rob Skegg and Tony Shead in their new garden.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

'This new day will give us the chance to sit and talk and have a more quiet atmosphere.'

The Pabulum, which has just welcomed Lady Philippa Dannatt as its patron and will mark its seventh birthday next spring, is also bidding for a £2,500 grant from the Norfolk Dementia Fund, which they would spend on its running costs.

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The cash has been made available by Handelsbanken, who raised £13,900 for the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance with a charity ball. Groups around Norfolk will be able to vie for a slice of the funding.

At Friday's Pabulum meeting, the bank presented the cheque to Colin Foulger, chairman of the group, and Willie Cruickshank, director of the alliance.

Mr Cruickshank said: 'What you have done here in Wymondham is amazing, but there are lots of people around Norfolk that could do with something just like this.

'We are trying to replace the success of this group elsewhere, so people across the rest of the county have somewhere to access this special help and support.'

Projects which could benefit include a dementia café in Stoke Holy Cross run by David Gudgeon, a regular visitor to Wymondham's support group.

Mr Gudgeon, 79, currently runs the group once a month but from January will increase to twice a month.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, January 8.

Visit www.norfolkfoundation.com/funds/norfolk-dementia-fund/ for more information on how to apply.

Meanwhile, the team at the Pabulum café will continue to work through the winter to complete a community garden project launched in June.

Volunteers - under the guidance of Rob Skagg and Tony Shead - have been busying themselves to finish the so-called happiness garden, which will have flower beds, space to plant seeds and a shed to relax in.

• Do you have a Wymondham story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk