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/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 to memory loss and their families and carers. There are lots of old photos, documents, songs and more to evoke and solidify memories from their guests past and make it a happy day for all. Although there is only one out and out memory café in this area there are plenty more art groups and entertainment available for those with dementia to enjoy.

  • Where? – Community Hall, St Vincent’s Close, Girton, CB2 0PE
  • When? – First Friday of each month, 10am – 12noon
  • Contact – Richard de Horsey, 01223 276 192

East Cambridgeshire

The Ely Dementia Café

Set up by the Alzheimer’s Society, the Ely Dementia Café is a safe place for those affected by dementia to come and enjoy each others company, reminisce and talk over a cup of coffee.

The Carers Coffee Club

Despite its name, the Carers Coffee Club is open for both carers and the cared-for. The date is subject to change so please contact Rosemary for more details.

Fenland

Wisbech Dementia Café

Dementia Café Group

There is only one memory café in Fenland. Based in Wisbech, and run by the Alzheimer’s Society, it offers everything you would find in a dementia café, a safe and friendly place to socialise in a group. They also occasionally host talks by local services and organisations promoting wellbeing.

  • Where? – Robert Hall Centre, St Augustines Road, Wisbech, PE13 3AH
  • When? – Third Thursday of every month, 10am to 12noon
  • Contact – cambridgeshiredementia@alzheimers.org / 01954 250 322

Huntingdonshire

There are a few Memory Cafés throughout the Huntingdonshire district which you can find linked below.

Coffee Pot Memory Café

  • Where? – Methodist Church, 10 Berkley Street, Enesbury, PE19 2NB
  • When? – Second Wednesday of every month, 11am – 12:30pm
  • Contact – Rob Murray, 01480 219925 / 01480 472 495

Huntingdon Memory Café

  • Where? – The Church Room, All Saints Church, The Hollow, Hartford, Huntingdon, PE29 1YF
  • When? – Last Monday of the Month, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Contact – Mike Fowler, 01480 417 001

Ramsey Dementia Café, Alzheimer’s Society

St Ives Dementia Café, Alzheimer’s Society

Memory Lane Singing Café

This Dementia Café also puts on music-based therapy for their Alzheimer’s and dementia guests, which includes group sing alongs to music across many eras. You will also able to network here and find out about everything suitable for those with dementia in St Ives, a dementia-friendly town. This group also has an active Facebook group for added support and sense of community.

  • Where? – Burleigh Hill Community Centre, St Ives, PE27 3EQ
  • When? – Second Monday of every month, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
  • Contact – Facebook Group

Peterborough

The Crocus Café

The Peterborough Rotary Club organises this café. An informal café setting for those affected by memory problems to drop in, talk with other people living with dementia, share experiences, and enjoy some games and activities. The club also provides an opportunity for carers to network and offer practical care tips to one another.

  • Where? 1203 Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough, PE1 2AU
  • When? First Monday of every month
  • Contactjanet.4.cooke@btinternet.com / 01487 830 114

Synergy Café, Thorpe Hall

Synergy Café is a dementia café in the Thorpe Hall hospice and elderly care centre. Here, those with dementia can socialise with others, relax, and/or take part in a variety of dementia-friendly and memory-stimulating exercises and activities. The carer is required to stay with them throughout this café.

  • Where? Thorpe Hall Hospice, Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6LW
  • When? Mondays, 11am – 3pm
  • Contact – johanne.hazell@sueryder.org / 01733 225 900

Cambridgeshire Dementia Social Groups

Dementia Social Groups are much like memory cafés in many ways. They offer a place to network with members of your community experiencing something similar, get advice and information of dementia-friendly initiatives in the area, and talk to other people living with dementia in a safe and relaxed environment. The only real difference between these groups and Dementia Cafés is the different settings that they take place in, from evening clubs to a pub lunch group.

Ness Court Dementia Group – East Cambridgeshire

The Ness Court Dementia Group is for both carers and the cared for and is one of the few groups on this page that operates more than once a month. It has also been endorsed by the district council.

  • Where? – Ness Court, Burwell, Cambridgeshire, CB25 0AB
  • When? – The Second and Third Tuesday of each month, 10am – 12noon
  • Contact – 01638 743 636

Benwick Forget Me Not Club – Fenland

This club is for the over 55’s and includes activities like games, Harvest supper (September), a Christmas party and more. Contact Mrs A Wall for more details on joining the club and whether it would be suitable for your parent’s particular needs.

  • Where? – Benwick Village Hall, High St, Benwick, March PE15 0XG
  • When? – First Thursday each month, 6:30pm – 9pm
  • Contact – 01354 661 327

Reconnect Social Group – Huntingdonshire

This social groups meets for 30 minutes each month for a relaxed discussion over some tea/coffee and cake – what’s not to love?

  • Where? – Brampton Parish Council, Brampton Memorial Centre, Thrapston Rd, Brampton, Huntingdon, PE28 4TB
  • When? – changes monthly, contact for details
  • Contact – barratt99@gmail.com / 07741 44727

Dementia & Alzheimer’s Support Group – Huntingdonshire

Pub Meal Out - Dementia-friendly cambridgeshire

The following two groups are set up by the same Dementia and Alzheimer’s Support group in the St Ives area, that volunteers training, social support, and a friendly conversation to those living with dementia and their carers.

This group also welcomes carers who have loved ones in full time residential care or who have died. To hear more about the group visit the website or contact George on 01480 463 869

Lunch Get Togethers

  • Where? – Slepe Hall Hotel, Ramsey Rd, Saint Ives PE27 5RB
  • When? – First Wednesday of the month, 12:30pm – 2pm
  • Contact – Felicity, 01480 392 806

Group Pub Meal Out

  • Where? – The Barley Mow Pub, 42 Main St, Hartford, Huntingdon PE29 1XU
  • When? – Last Tuesday of the month, 12:30pm – 2pm
  • Contact – Ken, 01480 380 323

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.

Arts and Minds

The 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 below that would be perfect for a family member with dementia to attend with their carer. The groups include:

Pottery Class for those with early onset dementia
  • The Michaelhouse Singers – who meet in Michael House Centre every Friday between 2:30pm – 3:30pm. For anyone with a mental health condition, carers, family and friends. Ring ahead for more details.
  • Pottery for Younger People with dementia – A group specifically for those with Early-Onset Dementia (younger than 65) to enjoy practising pottery and making real, professionally fired objects.

Arts 4 Dementia, Memory Notes

The Arts 4 Dementia Charity operates this weekly singing group for those with early to mid-stage dementia and their carers and supporters. Welcoming all levels of ability, Memory Notes is all about inclusion, friendships, enjoying the music and reaping the benefits of singing for health and wellbeing. All tastes are catered for including traditional folk songs, show songs, ABBA and of course the digestive biscuit lovers.

The sessions cost £6 a session.

  • Where? – St Andrew’s Centre, School Hill, Histon, Cambridge, CB24 9JE
  • When? – Every Wednesday, 11am – 12:30pm
  • Contact – memorynotescambridge@gmail.com / 01223 479 343

Dementia Compass

Dementia-friendly art and singing groups

The Dementia Compass group is an initiative that has two activities for those with cognitive impairment to enjoy: a singing group and museum enrichment course. They are also partnered to Dementia Differently, an online resource for help people to live better and safer at home with memory and cognitive problems.

The singing group – D’Music’a Community Choir – meets every Wednesdays in Fulbourn Village on the outskirts of Cambridge. This is perfect for anyone who loves music and has memory challenges and their care partners. The group meets seasonally so ring ahead to double check there is an event on the week you plan to go.

The Museum Program is based at the University of Cambridge Museums and is a multi-week course to help those with dementia to engage with history and enjoy exploring the artifacts 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

This singing and music-making group meet every week and is for all levels of experience to come and enjoy the fun and friendly sessions. Carers are more that welcome. They do ask that you contact the coordinator, Kathryn Rowland, ahead of time to confirm that there is space and the date and time.

  • Where? – Ely Methodist Church, 13 – 15 Chapel St, Ely CB6 1AD
  • When? – Monday Mornings
  • Contact – kathryn@allinsound.co.uk / 01353 662 022

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.

Dancing with Dementia

Dancing with dementia in Cambridgshire

These weekly dancing sessions for those with dementia, their family, friends and carers, are run by a collaboration between Cambridgeshire County Council and DanceMoves. The key values this group helps support are:

  • Enjoying movement and wellbeing
  • Building resilience and relationships
  • Creating joy, memories and sharing stories through dance.

People can attend the sessions independently but care homes often also bring residents to the group. There is a cost of £5 per person per session.

  • Where? – Horizon Resource Centre, 285 Coldhams Lane, CB1 3HY
  • When? – Tuesdays, 10:40am – 12noon
  • Contact – pereirastubbs@yahoo.co.uk / 01223 714 700

Love To Move

Dementia Exercise in Cambridgeshire

The first of its kind in the UK, Love to Move is 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 two separate sessions, one in St Ives and another in Huntingdon, however, you can also 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 at team@britishgymnasticsfoundation.org and 0345 1297129.

St Ives

  • Where? – Crossway’s Centre, Ramsey Road, St Ives, PE27
  • When? – Mondays (except the second monday of the month), 10am – 12:15pm
  • Contact – Kim Hall, 07715 081 402 / Jane Thomas, 07731 097 236

Huntingdon

  • Where? – Main Hall, Methodist Church, 17 High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TE
  • When? – Tuesdays, 10am – 12pm
  • Contact – Sarah Jane Greenstock, 07712 658 001

VivaCity Peterborough

Library and Leisure social services are managed by VivaCity on behalf of Peterborough City Council. There is a specific exercise class for those with dementia as well as a two weekly dementia-friendly swimming sessions. Find out more below or contact healthservices@vivacity.org.

Dementia Friendly Swimming

  • Where? Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre, Bishops Road, PE1 5BW
  • When? Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12pm – 1pm (both days), and 7:30 – 9pm on Tuesday
  • Contact – 01733 864 760
  • Book on the VivaCity Website

Gentle Exercise Classes for Dementia & Alzheimer’s

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!

Cambridge United FC – United By Memories

Once a month, the famous U’s open their doors to their fans who are living with dementia and offer a free day out to them and their carers. The day includes of a Memory Café where guests have the opportunity to pour over some sports images and memorabilia from the past, have a chat and of course finish with the club’s song – “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”!

In addition, the day is supplemented by one main activity which might be a stadium tour, a look in the club’s museum or talking to a club legend.

The day is free but it is necessary to book in advance. You can find out more by visiting the Cambridge United Trust Website.

Picture House – Dementia-friendly Screenings

Dementia-friendly cinema screenings

Supported by Arts 4 Dementia, the Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge puts on dementia-friendly screenings once a month. These screenings are slightly adapted to reduce the harsher sensory aspects of cinema. The lights are left on low, guests are free to walk around, take a break and sing a long 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.

You can find out about upcoming screenings on their website, which start at 11am and have free tea, coffee and biscuits before hand. Tickets are £4 each and are free for carers.

  • Where? – Picture House Cinema, 38-39 St Andrew’s St, Cambridge CB2 3AR
  • When? – Third Friday of every month, 11am
  • Contact – cambridge@picturehouses.co.uk / 08719 025 720

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 admin@care-network.org.uk.

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.

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

  • Where? – The Norris Museum, 41 The Broadway, Saint Ives PE27 5BX
  • When? – First & third Wednesdays of the month, 10:30am – 11:30am
  • Contact – Susan Bate, info@norrismuseum.org.uk / 01480 497 314

Cambridgeshire Dementia Action Alliances

Each district has an associated Dementia Action Alliance page, 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, and attempt to meet the 2020 Dementia Targets set out my the government. 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!

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