New Memory Café serves up support for people worried by memory loss

New Memory Café serves up support for people worried by memory loss

A new ‘Memory Café’ in Hertford is helping people with dementia and those who are worried about memory loss to meet new people, enjoy a cuppa and get advice and support.

The monthly event takes place in the relaxed surroundings of Hertford Theatre, from 11.30am to 1.30pm just before the arts venue’s dementia-friendly film screenings.  

As well as having a free tea or coffee, those attending the café can speak to experts in memory loss including GPs, specialist nurses, local charities and support workers.

The project has been set up by local GPs, NHS partners and Hertfordshire County Council, working in association with Hertford Theatre, the Alzheimer’s Society and Hertswise.

Dr Mark Andrews is a GP in Hoddesdon and one of local doctors behind the project. He said: “We’re very excited about the new Memory Café as we know there are many people out there who would benefit from talking about their memory worries. If you’re feeling forgetful or you feel anxious about someone who is, please come and see us. There is a lot that can be done to help people manage their memory problems and stay confident and independent for as long as possible. We hope that this regular café will provide a safe, welcoming and social space for people to get the support they need and meet others in the same situation.”

As well as hosting the Memory Café and dementia-friendly films on the same day each month, Hertford Theatre is also the venue for East Herts Council’s new ‘chatter tables’, where anyone can come and have a drink and meet new people.   

The Hertford-based café builds on the success of the Healthy Memory Café in Cheshunt. This runs on the last Friday of every month in the community room at the Tesco Superstore in Brookfield Farm from 10.30am to 12 noon.

Cllr Richard Roberts, Executive Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council and Chair of Hertfordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The new Hertford-based Memory Café is a great example of public health organisations, local authorities and the voluntary sector working together to provide a much-needed service for the local community. 

“If you know of anyone who is concerned about memory loss or has been diagnosed with dementia, please tell them about the Memory Café which offers a friendly place to have a chat and seek advice and support. It is fantastic to see Memory Cafés being rolled out across the county along with chatter tables where anyone can come and meet new people over a cuppa in a safe and welcoming space. The Hertfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board is looking at supporting both these initiatives through its Loneliness Action Plan which is currently being developed.”

Emma Parlow, Marketing Manager at Hertford Theatre said: “Our dementia-friendly films are already very popular and having the Memory Café and chatter tables running beforehand gives people even more reasons to come along and enjoy the company of others who might be in a similar situation. We’re really pleased to support these projects and hope that many people will come along to our next session.”    

The Hertford Memory Café takes place on:

  • Wednesday 23rd October, 11.30am – 1.30pm, followed by the film Vertigo
  • Wednesday 20th November, 11.30am – 1.30pm, No dementia-friendly film on this date
  • Friday 27th December, 11.30am – 1.30pm, followed by the Snow Queen (live pantomime)
  • Wednesday 22nd January, 11.30am – 1.30pm, followed by the film Meet me in St Louis
  • Wednesday 19th February, 11.30am – 1.30pm, followed by the film Grease

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Dementia-friendly film screenings are special screenings of (usually) vintage films where the auditorium is set up to make people with dementia feel more comfortable. There is soft lighting, no trailers and the volume isn’t turned up too loud.

To contact the East and North Hertfordshire CCG press office, please email: enhertsccg.communications@nhs.net or phone 01707 685140.