Wymondham dementia support group celebrates third birthday

A support group for people with dementia and their carers celebrated its third birthday today with news that it is receiving funding to expand its range of services.

The Wymondham Pabulum Cafe was set up by three church members at the United Reformed Church in the town in 2009 and has since gone from strength to strength.

The drop-in cafe format is now set to be copied by other communities following its success and extra funding from the Norfolk Community Foundation and Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance.

The service, which is run by the Wymondham Dementia Support Group, has received two grants of �5,000 from the two organisations to cover running costs as it continues to grow.

The cafe, which is held at the church centre in Fairland Hill, Wymondham, on the second, third, and fourth Friday of every month is one of the few dementia support groups in the county where people can drop-in at any time and do not have to pre-book.

The extra funding will allow the group with Age UK Norfolk and Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance to assess the effectiveness of pabulum cafes and the option of expanding the network to help more patients and carers.

Rita Harris, secretary of Wymondham Dementia Support Group, who is also a carer for her husband Tony, who has Alzheimer's Disease, said the cafe provided a place for people to meet and play board games and an opportunity for carers to talk and get guidance and support. She added that around 16 to 20 couples attend a cafe session, which runs from 10am to 1.30pm.

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John Burt, treasurer of the group, added: 'Carers can feel isolated and here they can talk to other carers and they find it very helpful and it is a direct link to all of Age UK's services.'

The group has grown to offer a 'musicalitea' tea dance on the first Thursday of every month from 2pm at the Fairland Church Hall.

The pabulum cafe is open to everyone and the charity is looking for volunteers to help out at its regular sessions. For more information, contact Trevor Brown on 01953 851796 or Rita Harris on 01953 604771.

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