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Buckhurst Hill U3A in Essex has partnered with the area’s Residents Society and the Parish Council to start a Memory Café for people with Dementia.

Chairman Anthony Young who has been a volunteer Dementia friend at the Alzheimer’s Society for the last two years, said, “We are starting this Memory Cafe in January 2019 because we felt that with the age of some of our membership we would be ideally placed to help provide a service like this.

“We aim to play games, sing, or just relax, a place to while away a couple of hours in a safe environment. We want to offer somewhere to go for those with Dementia and their carers.

“The memory cafe works on two levels. Firstly it allows the carers to talk to other people in a similar position, something that is often overlooked that carers need to be able to relax as well.

“Secondly, the café encourages its users to talk about their experiences using memory year books that show adverts from a particular year or using music which is also an amazing way to invoke memories. You find that people sometimes are unable to talk or remember but as soon as the music starts they instantly smile and know the words.

“My mother has dementia which is why this is so important to me but I believe that this is something more U3As may want to look into especially as communities get older, and services are under more financial pressure”

If you are interested in setting up something similar and would like to talk to Buckhurst U3A please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.