The Come and Go café run by the Tibbs Foundation in Bedford was officially launched on 16th March 2015. People with dementia from the Clear Voices group had a major role in developing the idea of the café and in making sure the launch went well.
People with dementia gave themselves a role as official ‘Welcomers’. They wore name badges and were there to greet people as they arrived and make them feel welcome. They were on hand to listen to people also to point out the practicalities – like where to get a cup of coffee and some cake and where the toilets were.
Family carers also played a key role as welcomers and they had produced folders of information from different local sources – which they offered to get for anyone who was interested.
Everyone gave out leaflets with the dates of future cafes, information about the other activities hosted by the Tibbs Foundation and contact details.
The local MP, Richard Fuller, was there to add his support. He mingled and chatted with everyone and confirmed that dementia is one of his priorities. One of the Clear Voices group, Phil, told Richard all about the On Our Radar Dementia Diaries project. Richard’s response was interesting – he thought that if more people with dementia wrote about their experiences, then someone would be able to analyse this wealth of information to come up with some solutions for living well.
You can hear Phil’s reports on the Dementia Diaries website – http://dementia.onourradar.org/tag/Phillip-Watmough