'People are feeling more confident': Dementia service back on track after Covid

Sprowston Dementia Café meets once a month 

Sprowston Dementia Café meets once a month - Credit: Sandra Hughes

Positivity is creeping back into the city with a vital memory loss service reporting it is now close to full capacity once more. 

Sprowston Community Dementia Café provides a supportive environment for carers and family members to bring their loved ones to on the third Thursday of every month.

The last couple of months after lockdown proved to be quiet, but numbers are now soaring once again with the Diamond Centre-based café close to capacity last week. 

Sprowston Dementia Café has a healthy number of members again after the lockdown frustration  

Sprowston Dementia Café has a healthy number of members again after the lockdown frustration - Credit: Sandra Hughes

Dementia champion Sandra Hughes has explained why the peer support offered is so important for those affected by memory loss and symptoms of dementia. 

She said: "Relatives are able to share experiences and offer solutions that they may have found useful themselves.

"They can also let people who are struggling know that they are not alone on the dementia journey." 

Each meeting offers a variety of activities such as jigsaws, bingo crafts and informal quizzes or discussions. Guests were also greeted with the sights of autumn foliage at the café for the recent meeting. 

Sprowston Dementia Café takes place at the Diamond Centre 

Sprowston Dementia Café takes place at the Diamond Centre - Credit: Sandra Hughes

Most Read

The service has been running for five years, but was closed for 18 months as Covid put the service on hold.

Mrs Hughes said: "During the pandemic, people with memory loss will have been forced into isolation which can be confusing, and frustrating and has been shown to have produced a marked deterioration in their cognitive functions.

"The wearing of face masks alone would be very difficult for them and often frightening. We are hoping that our services will help to provide some form of stimulation and help with this."

Those affected with memory loss and dementia symptoms can attend the Sprowston Dementia Café 

Those affected with memory loss and dementia symptoms can attend the Sprowston Dementia Café - Credit: Sandra Hughes

The café is completely volunteer-led with support offered by Sprowston Town Council who allow the service to take place in the Diamond Centre. 

Primary schools and the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project have both forged strong links with the dementia café with children proving to be a highlight for members when they mix together. 

Sprowston town councillor Bill Couzens, who volunteers at the service, said: "I think people are feeling more confident about coming out and also word is spreading about the café." 

Sprowston Dementia Café is proving popular after the Covid lockdown 

Sprowston Dementia Café is proving popular after the Covid lockdown - Credit: Sandra Hughes

The service takes place between 10am and noon. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter