Connections: Dementia Friendly Cafe

    Around the Diocese
    9 November 2018

    People living with dementia in Clifton have been given a safe place to meet and chat.

    All Saints’ Church in Clifton runs a dementia accessible café, Friends on Friday, for people with dementia, along with their family and friends.

    The monthly group has proved a big success since opening in May 2017, and the church has now introduced a monthly dementia friendly service to help those with the condition to worship.

    Helen Sutton, who runs the group alongside volunteers from the church, came up with the idea after seeing the popularity of another café group that was meeting in the church following the Friday morning Mass.

    She said: “My mother has dementia, so it is something close to my heart. I had the idea of starting a dementia café as a way of helping those with the condition in the local community.

    “People with dementia are the same people that they always were; they are still part of the community and this integration is really important. It is about letting people participate.”

    The café does not follow any prescriptive activities, but rather allows those who come along to choose how they take part – whether it is sharing memories or taking part in craft activities.

    Helen added: “We don’t impose things in the café – it is all about communication and conversation. It is about giving people the space and opportunity to tell their own stories.”

    What next?

    • Churches Together in Bristol has put together a resource pack to help churches become dementia friendly. Download the pack.
    • Become a Dementia Friend – regular courses are run by The Alzheimer’s Society around the country to help people understand and support those with dementia. Find out more at