Bidford Dementia Cafe – a place to share memories and experiences


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Bidford Dementia Café is the initiative of the Patients Participation Group (PPG) linked to the Bidford Health Centre and fully supported by the Practice Partners.

The aim of the Café is to provide a safe and homely environment to help and support people with memory problems / dementia and their families, carers, and volunteers to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable morning by socialising and participating in activities and sharing experiences with each other.

The Café is run by volunteers on a weekly basis every Monday (except Bank Holidays) between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm on a “drop in” basis, at Westholme Court in Bidford on Avon, B50 4AL. The Café is free of charge and refreshments are available. It is open to residents in Bidford and the surrounding areas.

There is a programme of activities which includes socialising, playing various games, musical and photographic memories, entertainment, presentations and various forms of exercise. You will be able to just sit and chat or join in with some social games and activities. We want you to feel a warm, friendly and social atmosphere and leave feeling that you have had a nice time.

In addition carers will have the opportunity to meet each other in order to get the much needed support they need. There will also be regular monthly group meetings for the carers including specialised talks from professionals.

As the Café gets more established then more activities and events will be added to the programme for everyone. We want to get to know you and understand your requirements in order to provide the help and support that everyone needs.

You can tell us what support you are looking for, it may be, for example:

  • Coping strategies · Coping with stress · Benefits · Homes checks · Home Help and Carers Short Break Services · Planning the future · Power of Attorney · Wills · Support services and signposting

We are here to help in any way we can, there is no need to feel alone!

For further information Telephone: Wendy on 0771 364 8716 (if no reply please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible)


Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project – reminiscence therapy and training in dementia awareness

Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project are a voluntary run organisation supporting people with dementia and their families in Stratford upon Avon area. WRAP have over 20 years’ experience in reminiscence therapy and provision of support through a series of training options.
Here is information on training courses currently provided by WRAP:

Reminiscence Awareness Course

WRAP believes that this is the course for all who are caring for someone, especially if they are caring for individuals who are living with dementia or have other disabilities and of older age.

Learning outcomes for the day are geared to communication skills and knowledge of how Reminiscence Therapy improves wellbeing in participants and staff. Dementia Awareness is also discussed within the day’s programme which is activity based through group work.

This course is Level One accredited with the Open College Network, West Midlands.

All who work with people on the Dementia journey should attend this course
– previous delegate

Next Reminiscence Awareness course:
Date: February 23rd 2016
Where: Briar Croft Alcester road Stratford upon Avon
Time: 09:30 – 16:00hrs
Cost: £89.00
Please contact WRAP to book.

Looking After A Loved One Support Programme (LAALO – previously CISP)

LAALO is an informal, people-friendly information and support programme for people looking after a loved one who is in the early stages of the dementia journey, regardless of the type diagnosed. The programme is free to attend and runs for two hours, one day a week, for eight weeks – all we ask is that you make a commitment to attend as many sessions as you can.

During the programme you will:

  • learn about the different types of dementia
  • receive help with finance and legal issues
  • find out how reminiscence promotes wellbeing for your loved one
  • discover techniques for coping with stress
  • meet with Guidepost Trust representatives and others

Places on the programme are limited to ten, if the next programme is full, you will automatically be placed on the waiting list.

Next LAALO programme:
Date:  Wednesday 3rd of February  2016
Where:  Wellesbourne Village Hall
Time: 10:00 – 12:00hrs
Cost: FREE
Please contact WRAP to book.

Reminiscence Therapy OCN Level 2/3 Course

If you wish to become proficient in delivering Reminiscence Therapy workshops, this is the course for you.

The Reminiscence Therapy course is an eight week training programme that involves some distance learning. It takes place at a venue of the learner’s choice, working with people who are volunteers for the duration of the training, supported by a WRAP tutor.

The programme starts with an information giving meeting which involves the trainee, the manager of the establishment where the training is to take place and the trainer, contracts are then exchanged and preparation meetings booked, volunteers recruited and all other necessary administration is carried out.

Access to WRAP’s extensive resources are provided via our resource library based at Stratford Hospital on a weekly basis.

The course is Level Two accredited with the Open College Network, West Midlands.

In addition a “life review” can be undertaken together with a written paper to achieve a Level Three pass. Both the Level Two and Three passes are dependent on a successful evaluation and observation at the end of the training period taking place. (See Fair Assessment PolicyOpens in a new window.)

As part of the package trainees will also receive a WRAP Reminiscence Manual and Trainee Record Book in addition to other supporting material.

Next Reminiscence Therapy programme:
Cost: £500
Please contact WRAP to discuss.

Bespoke Inter-Generational Training

WRAP also provides bespoke group training workshops for organisations. The staff team have experience of working in schools and with community groups that provide for those of older age. This type of inter-generational work is successful in bridging the cultures of today and those of yesteryear. WRAP has recently worked in Bidford on Avon on a project that looked at the topic of remembrance. Linking with the Jolly Tea Pot Cafe and its members, young people from Bidford recorded on film the members concepts of today’s youth and how they could work together. The remembrance part of the project involved those who where on the front line and those on the home front. The participants carried out workshops in the local school and children created Anderson shelters out of furniture and sheets. They also created a war-time meal and asked questions and listened to the experiences from the survivors.

Other workshops included poetry, music and games, that culminated in the young people taking part in the remembrance Sunday parade and the laying of poppies on the war memorial.

Other work has been with pupils from Alcester High School who have been working on a memory board that has been funded by Balfour Beatty Construction through the Prince’s Trust. It was presented to the community of Alcester.

Please contact WRAP for details.

Happy New Year from Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Partnership


Happy New Year to all our followers!

Welcome back from the long Christmas break, we all hope you had a nice time despite the rainy and windy weather.

Officers at Warwickshire County Council have been busy setting priorities for the coming year and we wanted to share some of these with you:

  • We are finalising the refresh of Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia Strategy for the next 3 years to support people with dementia and their carers, who live in Warwickshire. The key objectives within the strategy will be:

– Raising Awareness and Understanding of dementia
– Provision of Timely Diagnosis and Support
– Living Well with Dementia through the provision of a wide range of community support services including support to carers
– Living Well with Dementia in acute/residential/housing with care setting
– Developing an informed and effective workforce across all services;

When this have been approved (expected by spring 2016) we will be publishing the re-freshed strategy on our living well with dementia portal:

  • Warwickshire County Council and partners (such as Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, health services providers and voluntary sector agencies) will be raising awareness of dementia during this year’s Dementia Awareness Week in May, encouraging local service providers to showcase their offer of support available to citizens of Warwickshire;
  • We will be looking at developing a new Dementia and Arts pilot exploring the positive effects that arts activity can have for people living with different forms and stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia;
  • We will be working closely with the provider market, customers and carers to scope out and develop an improved local offer of Extra Care Housing[1] for people with dementia.
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance will be progressing their priority areas for 2016 to increase the number of dementia friendly communities in Warwickshire. These priority areas are: transport, GPs, dentists, opticians, banks and retail market. Through the work of the Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance we will continue to work towards supporting development of more Dementia Friendly Communities and encouraging more individuals to become Dementia Friends.
  • We will work towards increasing the number of Dementia Friends in Warwickshire to 20,000 by the end of 2018;
  • We will work towards improving diagnosis rates and post diagnosis support offer, and improve access to co-ordinated but personalised advice, information, care and support. All people diagnosed with dementia will be receiving a Post Diagnostic Pack including a range of awareness raising and signposting resources helping them to find support during all stages of their diagnosis and post diagnosis journey;
  • We will be improving the interactivity of the Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Portal (;
  • We will aim to further promote and increase sign up from health and care organisations to Warwickshire’s Dementia Workforce Vision and Pledge;
  • We will work with GP practices in Warwickshire to offer dementia awareness training for their reception staff.

It is estimated that there are currently 7,615 people in Warwickshire living with dementia. This number will increase by approximately 34% to just over 11,000 in the next ten years. By increasing awareness and understanding of dementia and developing a wider offer of support available we can make a real difference to improving the lives of people living with dementia and also support those who care for them.

For more details please contact Ewa Niepsuj on

[1] Extra Care Housing is also known as assisted living or housing with care. People who live in Extra Care Housing have their own self-contained homes, their own front doors and a legal right to occupy the property, with varying levels of care and support available on site 24 hours. You can find out more about Extra Care Housing option is Warwickshire here.


Dementia Wellbeing Cafe to be launched in Stratford upon Avon in December

Springfield Mind Dementia Wellbeing

Are you living with dementia?

Dementia cafés are drop-in centres offering a friendly and safe environment, where people living with dementia, and their family and friends, can come to meet others who are in the same boat, have a chat over a cup of coffee, share experiences and information, and learn about support available in their local communities.

Dementia cafés offer sessions with speakers from a range of organisations covering a variety of topics that help to support individuals living with dementia, their spouses, partners or children. The cafés can also provide a range of fun activities including singing and playing games from the past.

Springfield Mind will soon be launching a new Dementia Wellbeing Café in Startford upon Avon to offer support local people living with dementia and their carers.

10:00am – 12.00(noon)
Stratford Methodist Church
Old Town
CV37 6BG

PROGRAMME for Saturday 5th December 2015:
Doors open at 10am for light refreshments
10:15 Welcome and meet the team
10:30 Presentation – 5 Ways to wellbeing
11:00 Sessions: Carers group / Activities for all
12:00 Close

For more information and other services visit our website:, or Call our office: 01789 298615

MP shows his support to a local dementia café

Local MP, Nadhim Zahawi, visited Alcester Café in October, to see for himself how it had increased in number since his last visit, what improvements had been implemented and the vision for dementia care in Alcester.

After talking to various members at the café he sat with founder chairman Carole Zambonini and day care treasurer Margery Pickering to discuss how he could support them and the volunteer day care team with the next step – affordable day care for those with dementia.  The main problem they have is finding a site or suitable premises where day care could be held.

Day care will give carers some time for respite whilst the person with dementia is looked after in a friendly and safe environment. For more information regarding day care or the café contact Carole 01789 488088.

DSC00250 (1)

Waitrose staff in Alcester become Dementia Friends


, , , , , , , , , ,

Waitrose staff in Alcester joined one of the Warwickshire Dementia Friends Sessions  held in October to find out a little more about dementia and how they could help in their community and their local store.  After the session participants were invited to join members of Alcester Cafe for refreshments.

Alcester Cafe is run by volunteers from the local community and supports people with memory problems, people with dementia, their carers, family and friends. It is a free service and the cafe is open 10.30am-12.30pm Tuesdays and Fridays at Jubilee Hall. off St Faiths Road. For more information about the cafe contact Carole 01789 488088.

Dementia Friends is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society based on the principle that people with dementia can live well with a little help from other people. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things that can help people live well with dementia. You don’t need to already know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend.

You can become a Dementia Friend by:

  1. Attending an hour long Dementia Friends Information session. You can book a place by visiting the Dementia Friends website and searching for a local session, or
  2. Watching a short video on the Dementia Friends’ website and leaving your details on the site so you can be sent your Dementia Friends badge and Little Book of Friendship, or
  3. Groups may want to hold a group Dementia Friends Information session, perhaps as part of their regular meeting. Sessions last between 45-60 minutes. Please email:

Warwickshire hits its 10,000 Dementia Friends Challenge target


An ambitious target set at the start of this year to encourage 10,000 people to become Dementia Friends has been reached in under 10 months.

Latest figures from the Alzheimer’s Society have today confirmed there are more than 10,300 Dementia Friends in Warwickshire.

This means there are more Dementia Friends than people with dementia in the county.

Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “I’m delighted that in well under a year we could achieve this ambitious target of supporting 10,000 people to become Dementia Friends.

“In Warwickshire, there are estimated to be over 7,500 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the County by 2021. The fact is that most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes.”

Dr John Linnane, Warwickshire County Council’s Director of Public Health who became a Dementia Friend in October 2014, added: “A great deal of hard work has gone into reaching this target in Warwickshire and I look forward to this momentum around dementia awareness to continue to build.

“Now that we have achieved our initial target of creating 10,000 Dementia Friends, we will continue to create more Dementia Friends across Warwickshire. Our local Dementia Friends will also contribute to the national target – to create four million Dementia Friends in England by 2020.

“Our Dementia Friends drive is part of wider work around increasing awareness and understanding of dementia as part of Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia strategy. This also includes broader work,which includes such as creating dementia friendly communities, and providing dementia awareness training to front line staff in Warwickshire.”

Cllr Maggie O’Rourke, the county council’s Chair of the Adults, Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “It’s great news that we have achieved the 10,000 target. Dementia Friends is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society based on the principle that people with dementia can live well with a little help from other people. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things that can help people with the condition. You don’t need to already know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend.”

In Warwickshire, according to latest estimates, there are 7,615 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the county by 2021. Most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes. (Delete as repeated from above)

Warwickshire County Council has worked with many partners and people in making 10,000 Dementia Friends possible, including all five district and borough councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Coventry and Warwickshire Primary Care Trust, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, George Eliot Hospital, voluntary organisations and community groups, members of the Dementia Action Alliance, and the 20 Dementia Friends Champions in Warwickshire, who have been trained by the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver the one hour information sessions. (they received training from the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver the sessions)

To find out more about dementia visit

If you are not already a Dementia Friend and would like to become one you could attend the next session near you, or visit and follow the online process.

A day in life of … a Dementia Navigator, part 2 (Coventry).

My name is Michelle Brown and I work at the Alzheimer’s Society Coventry Office.

I have worked for the Alzheimer’s Society for almost six years, spending my first two years as a Leisure & Well-Being Worker supporting people with dementia to maintain their independence. I moved into the role of Dementia Support Worker after the funding for Leisure Workers stopped and have spent the last few years supporting people with Dementia and their carers to live well. In Coventry, we have recently combined the roles of Dementia Advisor and Dementia Support Worker into Dementia Navigators and I am now one of the Navigators supporting people in the city of Coventry to live as well as possible with Dementia.

It is a varied role with lots of work going on at the moment to promote the new service to other Health and Social Care Professionals in the city so my day is starting with a 9.30am meeting to present information about this to our local Adult Social Care Team. I have left them with several leaflets and referral forms to enable them to signpost people to us for support. The Department Manager thanked me for attending and felt the meeting was extremely beneficial to them all as they now felt they had a process for referring out for specialist support to people who were living with Dementia in the community.

As I arrive back in the office, it is straight into a team meeting with my line Manager and the other Dementia Navigator’s to discuss how the new service is ‘bedding in’ and identify any issues that may need addressing. We agree that the processes appear to be working well so far although minor changes to ensure assessment paperwork matches the requirements of CRS are noted.

It is now 12.30pm and I log on for the first time today to be met with a couple of telephone call-backs to service users, one who needed information about day centres and the other to discuss feelings around moving a person with dementia into a care home. The first call was dealt with by discussing different day centres and identifying what the carer felt was an appropriate setting . She asked for a list of the Day Centres in Coventry so that she could make enquiries herself and arrange to view a couple of them before deciding which day centre would be right for her husband. I agreed to post the relevant information and reassured her that should she need any further support with this matter she could call me back. The second call was from a service user I have been supporting for a couple of years. Mrs G was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia approximately six years ago and she remains living at home with Mr G meeting most of her care needs. Throughout the Dementia journey, I have worked closely with Mr & Mrs G ensuring that domiciliary care and respite breaks have been arranged but Mr G feels he can no longer manage his caring responsibilities and has recently come to a decision to move his wife into a care home permanently. He wanted to speak to me today to help him come to terms with his decision and understand what would happen next now that the care home he had chosen had confirmed they had capacity to take her. I agreed to contact the social worker on his behalf to request that she contact Mr G and discuss procedures and timeframes. I will continue to support Mr G during this difficult time and provide useful information to help Mrs G’s move into care be as ‘smooth’ as possible (i.e. life history book to accompany her which will inform her new carers about her as a person and identify some of her own belongings he may take ahead to her new room so that when she arrives the space may feel familiar to her). Mr G has often stated that he feels the ongoing support from the Alzheimer’s Society has enabled him to continue caring for his wife at home.

After clearing a few emails it is now 2.00pm and I am about to leave the office to attend a pre-arranged home visit. I have my briefcase with me which contains my assessment paperwork and plenty of information about Alzheimer’s Society services in the city such as Dementia Cafe’s and Singing for the Brain along with information leaflets from other agencies such as Carer’s Trust and Age UK. It is important to be prepared and have this information so that we are able to signpost to other agencies if they are able to offer a service which meets a support need. At 2pm I attend the home of Mrs J who is looking after her husband. We received a referral from our local memory Clinic to request support for them both after Mr J was recently diagnosed with Mixed Dementia. It became clear during my visit that Mr & Mrs J are coping very well with the diagnosis and just wanted information about ‘getting their affairs in order’. We talk about Lasting Power of Attorney and I leave the relevant fact sheet with them along with a list of local solicitors they may contact to support them with this. I talk about social opportunities such as Dementia Cafe, Resource Cafe and Singing for the Brain and leave leaflets relating to the same. Mr J used to be in a band when he was younger and music has always been important to him so he seems quite positive about ‘giving Singing for the Brain a go!’. Mr & Mrs J both state they feel reassured to have a Dementia Navigator as a point of contact for information and support.

That is my shift in the office finished for the day however when I get home I have to do some reading and pack my bag for tomorrow as I am currently undertaking a two year Foundation Degree in Dementia Studies at Worcester University. I am just starting my second year and whilst it is hard work some days ‘keeping all the balls in the air, I am thoroughly enjoying the learning and feel I am constantly developing as a practitioner as a result of my studies. My passion for enabling people to live well with Dementia constantly motivates me in my work and I am fortunate to belong to a team here at Coventry who are just as driven.

For more information on services offered by Alzheimer’s Society Coventry, please visit:

Alzheimer’s Society services in Coventry area

Plans are developing for a Bidford-on-Avon dementia cafe

On 16th September at 7pm, Bidford-on-Avon Health Centre held a talk on dementia led by Carole Zambonini  founder of the successful dementia cafe “Alcester Cafe”

The room was filled with around 60 people interested in dementia, how they could help within their local community and how Bidford-on-Avon could have a similar cafe to Alcester.

Carole started with a dementia friends session and went onto speak about her life as a carer to her mother and how Alcester Cafe was formed. She explained that Alcester Cafe is a one stop shop with support from Alzheimer’s, Age UK, CAB, WRAP and covers everything you need to know from power of attorney to information on different types of dementia. The cafe also helps with exercise, singing for memory and social sessions. It now has around 50 volunteers working on a rota and is open Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30-12.30 with everyone welcome. It is a drop in cafe so you can arrive any time during its opening hours and it is free of charge.

Dr Shackley, the senior partner at the Practice and other senior doctors were present and delighted with the presentation and very pleased with the number of people attending the Presentation.  They expressed their hope that together with the PPG they would be able to establish a similar provision to the Alcester Cafe in Bidford.  A venue had been identified and availability at times which did not clash with when Alcester Cafe was open.  There will be a meeting in November when it is hoped to get together all interested parties who are able to assist both practically and financially with a projected start date in January 2016.

If you want to find out more about the proposed cafe in Bidford, or would like to help, please contact Carole on 01789 488088.

£750 raised at a local Bulldog Bash to support a new dementia day care in Alcester


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

At their breakfast meeting Rotary Club of Alcester Alauna president Alan Mathewman presented a cheque for £750, raised at the Bulldog Bash, to Carole Zambonini. The money will go towards the starting of a day care centre for dementia in Alcester. An additional £250 was given by Hells Angels representatives.

The day centre is a follow on from the successful memory cafe, Alcester Cafe, which runs Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30-12.30pm in Jubilee Hall. The day centre committee are trying to find a suitable site in Alcester to start looking after people with dementia and provide carers with some respite. If you want to find out more about the proposed day care or would like to help please contact Carole 01789 488088.

group no cheques


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,998 other followers