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Dementia café’s never ending story

Published: 01/12/2016

A dementia café in Sealand showcased a Communities First funded project at their monthly meeting recently. The intergenerational project run by RMD Memory Matters delivers a “Never Ending Story”, using imagination and reminiscence and works with people living with dementia, their carers and school children. Donna Redgrave from RMD- Memory Matters, who has been working with pupils from Flint High School and Sealand CP School, said: “RMD – Memory Matters believes that the arts can significantly help everyone affected by dementia to live well. They can also be a vehicle to enhance peoples’ awareness and understanding of the condition and bring communities together. We offer a range of creative services, training and support, for people living with dementia, their carers and the wider community. “Pupils, teachers and support staff from each school have completed a “Dementia Friends” session which introduces them to the challenges of living with dementia. Following this, a group of students work with me on a “Never Ending Story” session.” At the recent monthly meeting of the Sealand Dementia Café, pupils from Sealand CP School came along to share a session of Never Ending Story with people living with dementia and their carers. A similar session will be taking place at Flint Memory Café with Flint High School pupils on 5 December. Sealand Dementia Café has a team of dedicated volunteers but it is mainly run by local residents and young mums. Hayley Wilson, Chair of the Committee, said: “The café has been running for around five months and there is a real community team spirit. We are delighted that our hard work is paying off with the growing success of our café. Id really like to encourage more volunteers and more people with dementia and their carers to come along to our café and find out what a great place it is and, also, what support is on offer. The café is open once a month, every 4th Monday, from 1-3pm at St Andrews Community Hub in Garden City.” Flintshire County Councils Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said: I’m delighted that the café is proving to be a success and it’s great to get the involvement of Donna who has been instrumental in getting the word out to a wider audience and involving several generations in this fantastic project. Without the funding from Communities First, this may not have been possible.” Dementia Cafés provide a safe, comfortable and supportive environment for people with dementia and their carers to socialise. Not only that, but at the recent meeting Richard Benyon, who attends the Sealand Dementia Café with his wife, Gill, met up with an old friend he had not seen for 66 years. Gill said: “Whenever Richard talks about the old days, he always mentions a childhood friend Peter Sumner, who he was desperate to re-connect with. He used to go over to Bee’s Nurseries on the ferry boat which linked England and Wales, before the footbridge was built, and Peter lived on Thornleigh Farm and they went to school together until they were eleven. I was amazed to meet another couple at a recent Dementia Café session who said they knew a person called Peter Sumner, so I got in touch with him and it was the same person, so I invited him along today and here they are. I feel really emotional that Richard has been able to meet up with such an old friend after so long and it’s down to this group – I am so grateful to them all.” As well offering a range of fun and engaging activities, Dementia Cafés give both carers and people with dementia a chance to get information and advice and talk to others with similar problems. For more information about the café, please contact Hayley Wilson at or call Luke Pickering-Jones at Flintshire County Council on 01352 702655. Richard Benyon (left) and Peter Sumner - together again after 66 years!