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New dementia cafe launched in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 11:24 19 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:20 22 January 2019

Volunteers at the Taste Cafe have launched a memory cafe for patients with dementia. Sara Pells, far left, and Anna Coleman, far right, manage the cafe Picture: PAUL COLEMAN

Volunteers at the Taste Cafe have launched a memory cafe for patients with dementia. Sara Pells, far left, and Anna Coleman, far right, manage the cafe Picture: PAUL COLEMAN

Archant

A memory cafe is to be launched to help dementia sufferers in Ipswich.

The Taste Community cafe in Ipswich Picture: PAUL COLEMANThe Taste Community cafe in Ipswich Picture: PAUL COLEMAN

The Taste Community Cafe in Woodbridge Road began trialling a memory cafe on every first and third Monday afternoon of the month, with the aim of aiding dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Volunteers have run the cafe since it was opened in 2011 by the nearby St John the Baptist Church.

Now the committed band of Christian volunteers are keen to use the cafe to support mental health sufferers and those living with degenerative brain conditions.

The cafe’s manager, Anna Coleman, helps to run Taste with her colleague Sara Pells and said her husband Paul’s grandparents had suffered with dementia.

“We saw these confident, intelligent people degenerate into completely different people,” she said. “It was so upsetting.

“We want to use this cafe to serve the community. Mental health is crucial and it is equally crucial that we serve the community and those suffering.

“We want to see this flourish, that’s the bottom line.”

The memory cafe runs fortnightly on Monday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm.

Carers and those living with dementia can come into the cafe, enjoy a bistro coffee and relax whilst playing games or reading.

Ms Coleman hopes that some of activities will aid the sufferers with activities designed to slow degenerative brain conditions.

She said: “We have a box full of dementia-friendly puzzles and books that invoke memory.

“It is proven the keeping the mind active can dramatically slow such disorders.

“It is also a support network for carers. They can come and talk to other carers and create a new community.”

Dr John Hague, at NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, has lent his support to the cafe and its endeavours.

He said: “We wish the Taste Café the best very of luck with this initiative to support those living with and affected by dementia.

“This is a really good opportunity to join in activities and talk with and enjoy the company of others.”

The next memory cafe session will be held at 1pm on Monday, January 21 at 426 Woodbridge Road.

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