Wetherby charity Memory Café marks major national week of action

A vital Wetherby lifeline for those living with dementia and their carers is preparing to mark a major national landmark.

The Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) Memory Café opened its doors earlier this year and has already helped dozens of people affected by memory loss.

Now those behind the café want to use Dementia Action Week (15 to 21 May) to highlight its pivotal role in the community.

Emma, Dementia Lead at WiSE, said: “Re-establishing dementia support from WiSE in Wetherby was such an important step for us as a charity and we’re thrilled with the feedback we’ve had so far.

“Dementia Action Week offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made in provided this much needed support in our area, as well as looking to the future and the many, many more people who are sadly likely to need our services in the future.”

The WiSE memory café meets twice a month on Wednesdays, 1.30pm to 3.30pm at The Church Rooms, Church Centre St James in Wetherby.

It supports those living with dementia and their carers by providing an appropriate setting to focus on clients’ wellbeing, with sessions facilitated by a trained staff member, alongside WiSE’s amazing volunteers. Support and advice is also be offered to family carers to assist them in their day-to-day continuing and challenging caring role.

Up to 34 people attend each session, which typically incorporate arts and crafts, board games and music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

“Having spoken to our attendees and their carers, they say the support and friendship they are getting from the sessions is invaluable. They are making friends who understand what they are going through and in turn developing a support network with others who are going through the same thing.

“The Memory Café is so important. It’s a community hub which offers advice, support and friendship to people facing very challenging circumstances. This is needed more than ever as in 2019 there were an estimated 900,000 people living with dementia. This is expected to increase to more than one million by 2030,” said Emma.

Funding for the café has come from multiple sources, including the National Lottery Awards For All and McCarthy Stone Foundation.

Attendance for the Memory Cafe is by referral only. For more information, visit https://w-ise.org.uk/activities/#memorycafe

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