Meet the elephants at Chester Zoo’s dementia cafe
Chester Zoo is playing host to a fortnightly dementia cafe set up last year by Alzheimer's Society in partnership with Upton Dene Residential and Nursing Home.
Held on the second and fourth Monday of every month at the zoo's Bembe Cafe right at the main entrance, the dementia friendly coffee morning is a chance to have a cuppa, meet other people in a similar position, and gain support from the local Alzheimer's Society - all while enjoying a view of the magnificent rhinos, warthogs and Asian elephants!
Pippa, one of the Zoo Rangers, explains how the zoo team have been supporting people in the area to live well with dementia....
Last year, Alzheimer’s Society was looking for the perfect venue in Chester to host a Dementia Café. Whilst searching for a location, they heard that many of our staff here at Chester Zoo had received training to support those living with dementia.
After initial meetings between the Zoo and Dene Residential and Nursing home, it was agreed that the zoo would be a great spot for the new café. The team here was ecstatic!
Hosted at Bembe Coffee Shop, the café offers a dementia-friendly environment where people living with dementia, and their families and carers, can come along for some fresh coffee, a cake and a catch up. All whilst enjoying a view of the zoo’s warthogs, black rhino and Asian elephants!
The coffee mornings have become very popular. As well as meeting other families affected by dementia, visitors can get help and information from the Alzheimer’s Society who bring fun themed quizzes, games and crosswords. Service users can also flick through scrapbooks with reminiscence-style themes, such as Victory in Europe Day.
Often, our Discovery and Learning team will deliver a short talk about some of the amazing animal species (and life-size skulls!) here at the zoo; leaving lots of time to go around the tables and chat to each visitor, showing them photos and interesting animal artefacts.
"These mornings are really special to us as they provide those living with dementia, as well as their families, friends and carers the opportunity to get together in a relaxing environment and enjoy a nice cup of coffee.
We’d love you to come and join us! The Café meets from 10.30am on the second and fourth Monday of every month."
Parking is free of charge and Bembe Coffee Shop is situated right at the main entrance so you don't need a zoo ticket to enter. For more information, visit the zoo's website.