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Belong launches dementia cafes to support local communities

by Kirsty Kirsty

New dementia cafés offering a warm and welcoming space for those living with dementia, and their loved ones, are opening across the North West and Midlands, providing a valuable support network for local people in the communities they serve.  

Hosted by dementia specialist, Belong, B’s Café is set to place regularly at the not-for-profit organisation’s eight care villages, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a range of experiences while accessing support and forming new friendships at the sessions. The programme includes arts and crafts workshops, pet therapy, specialist exercise classes and visits from musical performers.

Also on-hand, Belong Admiral Nurses provide a dedicated dementia nurse service available through the organisation’s partnership with another charity, Dementia UK, offering advice and the confidence to help individuals and their loved ones manage a future living with dementia. 

Bridget Lawler, Admiral Nurse at Belong, explains more about the new venture: “Dementia affects not only the person living with it, but also their family and friends, who are often their carers, too. We understand the challenges they can face, sometimes on their own, and that’s why we’ve launched B’s Café, to give a helping hand and a support network, which we know is vitally important to have.”

The dementia cafés are open to everyone, including non-residents of Belong’s care villages. Speaking of the inaugural gathering at Belong Crewe, one guest said: “My husband is living with dementia and he was fully engaged and he said how marvellous the afternoon was – to hear him say this aloud means so much to me.”

Another Belong Admiral Nurse, Caroline Clifton, added: “B’s café is named after our inspirational colleague, Belinda Jones, who is sadly no longer with us after losing a two-year battle with cancer. She helped shape our values, including being compassionate, and this extends outside our village to the wider community. Her legacy lives on and we know how much something like this would mean to her and her family.”

B’s Café takes place regularly at Belong villages across the North West and Midlands. For more information and dates/times, contact enquiries@belong.org.uk.

Image depicts Christine Messam visiting B’s Cafe at Belong Crewe for a chat with support worker, Leanne Bone.

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