What do we do?
Marjon’s Memory Café provides an active and supportive environment for individuals with memory difficulties and their carers. It is managed by the psychology team, with activities being led by students from across the University. It blends education, emotional support, therapeutic activities and practical assistance. The sessions offer a series of activities, selected by the leading student who is steered by the preferences of the attendees. Our ethos is to provide social companionship, support and stimulating activities for people with dementia or memory loss, and their carers.
Previous activities have included: tea dance, pub quizzes, name that smell, reminiscence, board games, dominoes, Christmas crafts, singing and many more! The activities are fully accessible to all and are designed to invigorate movement, stimulate cognition and enhance communication. The sessions are inclusive and play to attendees strengths.
How do we do it?
You will be part of a group of around 10 individuals plus students. You’ll have opportunities to participate in a range of activities, in a relaxed atmosphere over offer tea, coffee and biscuits.
We take a supportive approach, sharing experiences and life stories, talk about recent activities, holidays and events as well as reminiscing about times gone by. All activities are designed to engage us in conversation, promote memory and a sense of wellbeing.
The café temporarily closed in March 2020 but the team kept in regular contact with attendees, sending out activities designed by the students for ‘at-home’ sessions. It reopened in June 2021.
“The memory café has positively assisted my Psychology degree. Coming up with ideas for activities has made me think more about the types of memory problems and dementia and how everybody is affected differently. It’s given me more self-confidence and it’s been lovely getting to know the members and developing this over time. I look forward to coming up with ideas for quizzes and activities. Some members may not be able to talk very much but their smile says everything.” Chantal Buxton, student.
Dr Hazel Bending is a chartered member of The British Psychological Society (BPS) and manages the Marjon Memory Café.
Tracy Edwards is a Senior Psychology Technician overseeing the specialist Psychology facilities and she supports the Marjon Memory Cafe.
Memory café is supported by a team of student volunteers from our Psychology and Special Education Needs and Disability Studies courses. The students are motivated to work with people with dementia and their carers. They design each session, based on the interests of the participants, and they lead the reminiscence therapy.
“ It’s the highlight of our fortnight, we have a good conversation about interesting topics and play fun games.“