Herefordshire community group gets ready to open new dementia cafe

Pontrilas in South Herefordshire is set to see the opening of a new dementia cafe in May this year thanks to the efforts of its own community interest company, Care and Repair Enterprise (CARE).

CARE was set up in 2013 to save the village's Post Office, and now provides a valuable community resource, not only keeping the post office and local shop facilities going, but also providing support services to local older residents and those with impaired mobility who choose to live Independently in their own home.

Sonya Cary, Founder Director of CARE, explains that as a non-profit making company CARE has a social purpose.

"We conduct business in the same way as a normal business, however, we do not trade for ‘personal profit’. Any profits made are directly invested back into the support services in order to bring about community benefit.”

Sonya Cary
Director of CARE                 

CARE currently offers a range of services, from helping with gardening and household chores, to assisting with form filling and looking after pets.

They also provides a ‘telephone buddy’ service; a service which helps to combat loneliness and isolation commonly experienced by older people living alone. The service, which is manned by volunteers, makes a call to isolated members of the community once a week to chat informally about any subject of interest.

​And now CARE has obtained planning permission to convert 2 empty units at the Pontrilas Business Park into a community wellbeing hub, enabling them to start a dementia-friendly cafe.

Cafe@CARE is to be run in association with the Alzheimer's Society, and the aim is to help people with dementia and their carers stay connected with the community through dementia-friendly social activities and events.

In an interview for the Hereford Times, Sonya comments, "We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to provide community services that benefit local residents in the Golden Valley directly."

"As a local initiative organised and operated by local residents, I think its a great story that many 'other' local initiatives could take encouragement from."

"We are delighted to become the first community wellbeing hub in south Herefordshire to join the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). The DAA is made up of over 100 organisations committed to transforming the quality of life of people living with dementia and their carers."

"Keeping occupied and stimulated can improve quality of life for the person with dementia, as well as for those around them."

The plan is to open Cafe@CARE in May 2017.

To follow the progress of the project, find CARE Herefordshire CIC on Facebook or ring CARE on 01981 240235.

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  • 17 January 2017