Red House Museum and Gardens have launched bi-weekly interactive, dementia-friendly cafe sessions.
As part of the outreach project ‘Still Curious’ it aims to create warm and sociable environments where people with dementia and their carers feel welcomed and supported. Volunteers have been recruited and trained. As well as the creation of a new, accessible community activity space. All of which are part of a £50,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and a donation from the Friends of Red house Museum.
On January 21, the first Curiosity Café session saw people with dementia and their carers being treated to a morning of vibrant music and tasty treats. Participants were joined by the museum’s trained dementia friend volunteers. A partner in the project and professional musician and music-in-healthcare practitioner Fiona Pritchard was also present.
These sessions hope to increase participants concentration and listening skills as well as stimulate their memories. The music chosen by Fiona Pritchard is picked specifically for its toe-tapping nature to ensure any self-consciousness is forgotten. By doing this, all participants, are able to feel free to laugh, joke and take part.
The museum’s Curiosity Cafés have been designed to inspire and spark the curiosity of participants. Each fortnight a different theme will be explored in the 90 minute sessions, from music and mindfulness to gardening. There is also a ‘food for thought’ collaboration with Waitrose which will encourage participants to try out different foods and learn healthy recipes to take home with them.
Alongside the Curiosity Cafés, Red House Museum has also launched Tuesday Strolls, an opportunity for exercise and socialising whilst walking routes designed with local heritage points at their centre.
For more information on the dementia-friendly events or to get involved as a dementia friend volunteer, you can visit the site here or call 01202 482860.