Memory Café to be launched in Tavistock

Posted on 13th October, 2006

Following eight successful trial sessions, the Memory Café in Tavistock is to be launched on Monday 16th October with an informal buffet lunch at The Anchorage Centre between 12.00 noon and 1.45pm. The Memory Café is a joint initiative run by Tavistock Area Support Services, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Social Services and the Alzheimer’s Society.  It aims to provide friendly advice, information and support to anyone who wants to find out more about memory and ageing. The Café will open on a fortnightly basis, with the next session being held on Saturday 21st October between 2-4pm. Commenting on the Cafe, Community Mental Health Nurse, Nellie Minnema, said:  “We would like to encourage anyone who is worried about their memory, or someone they care for, to come along to the Café. It will be a social setting where people can find out more about issues related to memory, get practical advice and talk about their concerns.  It can be a distressing time for people who do not know who to turn to for support and guidance.  The Café sessions provide a relaxed atmosphere for people to talk and share their experiences, which helps to reduce anxieties and the isolation that can be felt when faced with memory problems.” Gill Gorbutt, who cares for her husband, said:  “The permanent establishment of a fortnightly Memory Café at The Anchorage Centre, following eight really successful pilot sessions, is marvellous news.  There has been a clearly proven need for such a meeting place for people with developing and established memory problems and their carers.  Before it started, there seemed to be nothing specifically aimed at people in our situation and, as a carer, it has given me the chance to meet and share with other carers – and it has given my husband a safe environment where he can enjoy the company of others and have some fun.  It is time we accepted that memory problems, as we grow older, are not to be ashamed of and, as with cancer and other life-changing illnesses, those suffering need acknowledgement, understanding and support in the community.  “I would like to thank health and social services for initiating this new service, and hope that they will be able to continue to support it.  Having caring and experienced workers with us has been invaluable, and made the Café the success it has become.” Andy Lyle, Manager of Tavistock Area Support Services, added:  “This is a wonderful service, with both the voluntary and public sectors working together in true partnership to benefit people living in West Devon.” To find out more about the Memory Cafe, please contact Andy Lyle at Tavistock Area Support Services on 01822 616958.