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Derriford Hospita Memory cafe

We are a relatively new Memory Café held every Wednesday in the Level 7 Restaurant at Derriford Hospital, from 2-4pm. our main aims are to provide engaging activities for people living with dementia, respite for their carers, and to simply spend time with others who are interested in learning more about dementia or are living with it. We want to de-stigmatise hospitals and remove the negative schemas that some people have about them, by providing a safe, comfortable and positive environment for all our visitors. We welcome all and provide free activities and refreshments for anyone who comes along.

14 August 2018
South West
Local Alliances:
Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Our Memory Café, whilst still in the process of re-launching and attaining a more pronounced role in the community, is already playing a key part in improving the experiences of our visitors. We are currently a small group of volunteers running the café and this allows us to give a more personal and meaningful touch to our activities. Although we are not yet well-established as a Memory Café, we hope to develop our network with other cafes, organisations, and people by hosting events, special open days, and continuing to provide reliable sessions with engaging activities.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

One key challenge we have been facing is a lack of training for our volunteers.

Another difficulty we have faced thus far in setting up our Memory Café is a lack of publicity; very few people are aware that our café exists, and this is to our severe detriment.

Also, we feel the negative stigma attached to our hospital location prevents people from coming along to our cafe, as they do not enjoy being in hospital regardless of the reason for being there.

2. Actions

  • Arrnage suitable training for our volunteers prior to our relaunch event.

    We are in the process of receiving suggestions from appropriate dementia professionals regarding the exact content of our training, but the overall plan is to complete at least one online course per volunteer (this will help ensure all volunteers are on the same page with regards to approaching issues), and also to arrange a group training day with the Alzheimer's Society. We aim to have both types of training completed before our relaunch event (date to be confirmed).

  • Spread awareness of our memory cafe, our aims and that we are open to all.

    A new memory cafe poster has been cleared with the communications team at Derriford Hospital and Plymouth Libraries have agreed to distribute the posters at all of their branches in the area. These posters will be printed and supplied to the library, to Moments Cafe in city centre and to Plymouth University.

    We are also in the process of setting up a facebook page, publicising our presence and activities to spread awareness of our role in the community. 

    Finally, our relaunch event will be the main publicising opportunity. We are in the process of organising dates and available volunteers to attend at the current time.

    Being implemented
  • Tackle the negative connotations of hospitals and improve the attendance rate to our cafe.

    Our relaunch event will invite people from all backgrounds to come along for free refreshments and to chat about issues surrounding dementia and living with it. It is events such as these that will help to make the hospital seem a less threatening place. We are also going to circulate our new poster through Derriford Hospital (and potentially other hospitals in the area depending on the response from their communications teams) and inform the public that hospitals are not just for diagnosis and treatment , but for management and everyday activities to help them live with dementia.

    Our main plan to make this action possible is to attend other community-wide events (I am also the student lead for a new project called 'The Eureka Concept' which aims to promote relationships within the community between healthcare providers, students and the public) to remove the stigma of hospitals and therefore improve our turnout at the memory cafe.