Wymondham Dementia Support Group

INTRODUCTION

In November 2008, following an initiative created at a Fairland United Reformed Church ‘away day’, a public meeting was called to consider the needs of those locally diagnosed with dementia and their carers. A committee was formed with representatives of local organisations and churches called The Wymondham Pabulum Café Committee.

The objective was to establish a Pabulum Café in Wymondham modelled upon ‘Alzheimer Cafés’ established in Holland by Dr Biere Miesen, a Clinical Psychologist.

WYMONDHAM PABULUM CAFÉ

Our first Café was held in March 2009 with six persons living with dementia and their carers attending, following a period of fund raising with support from Norfolk Community Foundation, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and Wymondham Town Council.

The style of the Café provides a friendly meeting place where those living with dementia, their carers, family members and other interested parties (e.g. health and social care professionals) can come together and receive support, guidance and information in a relaxed atmosphere whilst enjoying refreshments. When necessary we provide advocacy for members who may be having difficulty regarding access to services and various benefits.

Activities include reminiscence sessions, various games, craft work, a poetry table and quizzes. Sport & leisure activities take place in the Hall. We have a resources library. A carers group lasting 45 minutes is held at each Café in a separate lounge and during this time those with dementia are supported by trained volunteers. This time is highly valued by carers who provide support to each other and share experiences which help others devise coping strategies. Our carers regularly tell us how important this time is and explain that it has helped them overcome feelings of isolation and powerlessness.

We are an open access organisation and there is no complex referral system. People who learn of our service can just turn up or they may have been referred by a friend, GP or health or social care worker or noticed our local publicity.

Each Café is under the direction of our a team of volunteers who are vetted and receive regular training.

The Pabulum Café meets every Friday morning for a whole variety of activities. On Monday mornings there is the Monday-Monday Club – a quiet café for conversation and meeting together. The third Friday of every month is a Singing Café. Once a month we also show a film at the Pabulum Picture Palace.

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