Staff and volunteers were delighted to celebrate 10 years since the inception of it’s successful Memory Way Café, in the lead up to Dementia Awareness Week. The members of the café, who are people living with dementia and their family carers, joined the celebratory tea to mark a decade since Jewish Care began this innovative project.
Since then, Jewish Care has held over 500 Memory Way Cafés, offering engagement and support through reminiscence activities not only to people living with dementia but also invaluable support to their family carers too. It is run by specialist staff and supported by volunteers who lead the activities and those who attend also benefit from support from other families they meet who are in a similar position.
The organisation’s Memory Way Cafés include reminiscence activities from memory boxes, talks, music and magic to exercises and presentations from museums and art galleries.
Susan Dawson, Jewish Care Community Dementia Lead, said, “Since its inception over 500 Memory Way Cafés have taken place and more than 400 families have been supported.
“The passion, commitment and great heart of our wonderful volunteers and staff, have made this Jewish Care initiative such a success,” continues Susan, “none of this could have happened without them. It was a pleasure to be able to thank them all and to celebrate with our members. Here’s to the next 10 years!”
Jewish Care Chief Executive Daniel Carmel-Brown, who attended celebrations at the Café’s, added, “I know how difficult it has been through the pandemic when people couldn’t leave their homes and go out, so it’s very important to be able to mark this milestone together. When we created the Memory Way Cafés 10 years ago, it brought people living with dementia and their families together in a unique and special way. It’s the partnership with our specialised trained staff and our volunteers who’ve helped to make this such a great success.”
Volunteer coordinator, Pam Bertschinger, has volunteered with the Memory Café at Jewish Care’s Michael Sobell Community Centre, for ten years. She said, “Through the pandemic the members have been incredible and very supportive to us and each other and it’s fantastic to see so many of members celebrating our 10th anniversary with us. Most importantly of all, it’s wonderful to hear from them that they feel a welcoming and warm the atmosphere at the Café’s. It’s a place where wonderful friendships have been forged and we have a lot of fun and laughter too.”
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the organisation has run 50 Zoom on-line cafes and now offer these monthly online cafes, providing ongoing support to those who remain or become for various reasons, isolated in their homes.
The Memory Way Café’s run across Jewish Care resources including at the Zalman & Ruchi Noé Centre for people living with dementia at Sandringham on the Stanmore/Hertfordshire borders, The Sam Beckman Centre for people living with dementia at The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre in Friern Barnet and at The Maurice & Vivienne Wohl Campus in Golders Green. The Memory Way Cafés at Edgware and Harrow Reform Synagogue and Finchley Reform Synagogue are supported by Jewish Care. They are meeting once a month in person as well as fortnightly on Zoom.
Many of the members of the Cafés are also supported by Jewish Care’s Social Work and Community Support services as well as to our Centres for People Living with Dementia.
For more information about the Memory Way Cafés please contact and other activities that support people living with dementia to live well, please call the Jewish Care Direct Helpline on 020 8922 2222 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org