Dementia-Friendly Cambridgeshire: Your Guide To Local Initiatives

Dementia-Friendly Cambridgeshire: Your Guide To Local Initiatives

Dementia-friendly Cambridgeshire

Dementia is something that can be equally hard on the person living with it as on those who are caring for them. This is your guide to Dementia-friendly Cambridgeshire to help you and your relative get the most out of life whilst living with this disease.

Making the most of the dementia-friendly entertainment, cafés and exercise classes in Cambridgeshire can really help you and the person you care for appreciate and enjoy life a little more.

On this page Age Space has found and listed all of the dementia-friendly initiatives, activities, and venues across the county and the Dementia Action Alliances and Dementia-Friendly Towns in Cambridgeshire.

We also recommend that you download Age Space’s free comprehensive Caring for Someone with Dementia Guide to help with some of the more practical aspects of dementia care.

Dementia and Memory Cafés in Cambridgeshire

Dementia Cafés (often called Memory Cafés) are one of the main places for people with dementia and their carers to meet each other, take advantage of some free coffee or tea and biscuits and just chat about their experiences in a warm and friendly environment. Some Dementia Cafés will also put on fun social activities, often aimed at improving memory.

Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire

Girton Memory Café

Run by the Cambridge South Rotary Club, the Girton Memory Café is an open, drop-in venue for anyone with dementia or other problems associated with memory loss and their families and carers. There are lots of old photos, documents, songs and more to evoke memories from their guests’ past and make it a happy day for all.

  • Where? Community Hall, St Vincent's Close, Girton, CB2 0PE
  • First Friday of the month from 10.00am to 12.00pm
  • Contact Form
  • Visit Website
Oaklands Community Café

Oaklands Care Home offer the opportunity to enjoy a chat with tea, coffee and cake in a comfortable and supportive environment for those with dementia. They occasionally run themed activities, for example flower arranging, little quizzes, or carol singing at Christmas.

  • Where? Oaklands Care Home, Bottisham, Cambridge, CB25 9BX
  • When? Third Wednesday of the month from 2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Telephone: 01223 816 238
  • Visit Website

Huntingdonshire

Dementia Café at Ferrars Hall
Dementia Community Group
Memory Lane Singing Café, St. Ives
  • Where? Burleigh Hill, Community Centre, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 3EQ
  • When? Every second Monday of the month, 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Visit Website

Peterborough

Café at the Dementia Resource Centre

Run by the Peterborough City Collage, The Dementia Resource Centre is open most of the week, serving food and drink. It has comfortable seating and activities available such as a pool table and board games.

  • When? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Telephone: 01733 865710
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Where? 5 York Road, Millfield, Peterborough, PE1 3BP
  • Visit Website

Dementia-Friendly Art and Singing Groups in Cambridgeshire

There is evidence that social experiences of art and music are both great for a large portion of those living with dementia and help slow the progression of memory loss. At the very least it can also just be good fun! The following are Art and singing groups that meet throughout the county especially for those living with dementia. Dementia Cafés is the different settings that they take place in, from evening clubs to a pub lunch group.

Riverport Singers: St. Ives Dementia Friendly Community Choir

Created to welcome people living with Dementia, their carers, families and friends. The choir sings a great range of songs (folk, pop, musicals) accompanied by the piano in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, with words projected on a large screen.  The choir gives 2 concerts per year. 

Arts and Minds

Pottery Class for those with early onset dementiaThe Arts and Minds group is not focused solely on dementia, however, they do welcome anyone with dementia to their groups for those with mental health conditions. They operate several creative groups including those listed below that would be perfect for a family member with dementia to attend with their carer. The groups include:

The Michaelhouse Singers

A group who meets at St Michael’s Church (Michaelhouse Centre) in the centre of Cambridge once a week during term time. They encourage choir members to contribute to the running costs of the choir (with a suggested contribution of £5 per session), but believe that cost should never be a barrier to positive mental health, so if this contribution is not feasible for you, get in contact to discuss your situation.

  • Where? Michaelhouse Café, St Michael's Church, Trinity St, Cambridge, CB2 1SU
  • When? Friday afternoons (during term time)
  • Telephone: 01223 403485
Pottery

This pottery group meets weekly, providing a safe and therapeutic environment for participants diagnosed with dementia and other neurological challenges to explore pottery. Sessions are run by an experienced pottery artist and attendees are provided with guidance and support to make a variety of objects that will then be glazed and professionally fired.

  • Where? St. Martin's Church Centre, Suez Rd, Cambridge, CB1 3QD
  • Telephone: 01223 403485
  • When? Friday afternoons

Have an explore around Arts & Minds’ website to find other opportunities that they run!

Dementia Compass

Dementia-friendly art and singing groups

The Dementia Compass group is a social venture that aims to fill the supportive services gap in the years between diagnosis and 24/7 care.

They do this by creating sustainable, accessible resources that reduce the cognitive, physical, emotional, financial and care burden experienced unnecessarily by multiple generations of family and friends affected by a dementia diagnosis.

You can find out more information regarding their services through their website.

Through this initiative, they run a Portals to the World Museum Program. This program is based at the University of Cambridge Museum and is a multi-week course to help those with dementia to engage with history and enjoy exploring the artefacts in the museum collections. Each week, a member of the museum’s staff of specialists gives a talk followed by some handling of objects relating to the talk. Visit the website to find out more, or use the contact details below.

Sing! Together, Ely

This programme is designed for those living with dementia, memory loss and their carers, in Ely, Cambridgeshire.  New members are always welcome and no singing experience is needed – come along and join our fun and welcoming group. Get in touch with them using the contact details below for more information.

Dementia-Friendly Exercise Groups in Cambridgeshire

It is not only the arts that have been shown to aid memory retention in those with dementia; light, regular physical exercise is great for both body and mind! Find a dementia-specific exercise group in Cambridgeshire below.

Burleigh Hill Community Centre: Morning Dementia Group

The Burleigh Hill Community Centre runs a dementia group that involves fitness and well-being every Monday morning. Get in touch with them for more information.

  • Where? Burleigh Hill Community Centre, Constable Road, St. Ives, PE27 3EQ
  • When? Monday mornings
  • Telephone: 07789 057953
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Visit Website

Dancing with Dementia, DanceMoves

Dancing with dementia in CambridgshireDanceMoves is a Cambridge-based company that is passionately committed to extending the life-affirming and therapeutic benefits of movement and dance to healthcare and community settings. DanceMoves believes that dancing is joyous and important, so creates tailor-made movement and dance projects in consultation with health professionals – with a focus on assisting the management and alleviation of health problems and promoting wellbeing. DanceMoves delivers high quality, enjoyable and friendly movement and dance encounters that encourage meaningful human communication.

Dancing for Dementia is a warm and welcoming group for people living with a dementia and their carers, families and friends. They work together to ensure a creative, good and fun time is had by all. This begins with chair based warm-ups and develops into dance, depending on ability and mood. Sessions always finish with a relaxation and massage.

  • Where? Horizon Resource Centre, 285 Coldhams Lane, CB1 3HY
  • When? 10:40am - 12:00pm
  • Cost: £5.00 per attendee
  • Telephone: 01223 714 700
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Visit Website

Love to Move


Dementia Exercise in CambridgeshireThe first of its kind in the UK, Love to Move is an exercise class based on scientific research from Age UK and focuses on the fundamentals of physical, emotional and cognitive benefits of low-intensity movement. The sessions are run in association with the British Gymnastics Foundation – so expect an Olympics call up if you perform well!

They operate a tailor-made session for each individuals needs and abilities including music-led cardio, muscle strength exercises, partner work, seated exercise and even 1:1 if needed. The sessions are led by a qualified volunteer with working knowledge of delivering engaging activities for seniors.

There are online sessions accessible here from The British Gymnastics Foundation.  Or you can download a brochure that includes exercises you can do at home. You can also contact the British Gymnastics Foundation to find out more on Love to Move by emailing  [email protected], or call 0345 1297129.

Dementia-Friendly Entertainment in Cambridgeshire

Living with dementia should not get in the way of living. There are plenty of venues across Cambridgeshire in which those with dementia and their families can enjoy a day out. Take a look at some of the dementia-friendly activities to be found in Cambridgeshire!

Picture House - Dementia Friendly Screenings

The Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge puts on dementia-friendly screenings that are slightly adapted to reduce the harsher sensory aspects of cinema. The lights are left on low, while guests are free to walk around, take a break and sing along freely. The benefits of dementia-friendly screenings are that everyone is relaxed and feels comfortable, surrounded by other members of the dementia community, while still being able to enjoy the films.

Find out more information regarding their upcoming screenings through their website here.

Farming Memories Group - Wimpole Home Farm

Dementia-friendly farming

The Farming Memories Group was set up on Wimpole Farm by Jenny, who’s ex-farmer husband Don, is living with dementia. In collaboration with The National Trust and The Care Network, this dementia group gives people who spent their lives working on farms a chance to return to that way of life, enjoy farming activities, each other’s company and the fresh outdoors.

Not only is this activity a chance to reminisce on old times but it can help those with dementia stay active and allows carers a chance to connect and network with other carers and dementia services.

Find out about upcoming dates and to get involved contact 01954 211 919 or email the Care Network at [email protected].

Reminiscence at the Norris Museum

The Norris Museum in St. Ives runs Reminiscence, a club for those with dementia and their carers to help bring back the past through historical objects, stories and conversations. The group’s activities aid in stimulating memory and have a great social aspect to them, where members can reminisce on their lives over some light refreshments.

The sessions are free although donations are welcomed and booking in advance is required.

Cambridgeshire Dementia Action Alliances

There are two associated Dementia Action Alliance pages for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, where they each set out their successes and goals for making their areas more dementia friendly and improving their residents who live with dementia. Each page also includes a list of the dementia-friendly members, local businesses and organisations, who have pledged to being supportive of their clients who live with the disease.

Cambridgeshire Dementia-Friendly Towns

Cambridgeshire has four Dementia Friendly towns, who have pledged to help make their communities as dementia friendly as possible. These town have made an extra effort to make their towns as easy and accessible to those with dementia as possible. The following are the Dementia Friendly Communities in Cambridgeshire:

  • St. Ives
  • Wisbech
  • Brampton
  • St. Neots

Dementia-Friendly Suffolk

For those living in the more easterly parts of Cambridgeshire, you might like to explore the dementia-friendly options in Suffolk, which include singing groups, dementia cafés and more!