Pinetrees Memory Café celebrates its fourth Anniversary in style

By Jamie Hill - 25 September 2023

  • The Pinetrees Memory Café team from left to right: Memory Café Co-ordinator Steph Newton and Volunteers Carole Bennett and Debra Hale.

    The Pinetrees Memory Café team from left to right: Memory Café Co-ordinator Steph Newton and Volunteers Carole Bennett and Debra Hale.

On 20 September, Pinetrees Memory Café celebrated its fourth Anniversary. The first café was held in September 2019.

Movement to Music session hosted by Lin Jefferies from Lin’s Fitness

Long standing café attendee, Nikki Edward said: “Sally came to live with us after her husband suddenly passed away. We were thrown into caring very quickly. A friend sent me the details of a new memory café opening so we tentatively put our names down to attend, not knowing what to expect.

"We hadn’t been to any clubs before. We had a warm welcome from Steph and she hasn’t got rid of us since! We love the activities, support, friendly smiles and friendships made. If you care for a loved one with Dementia, please try the clubs. We were honoured and touched that we were asked to cut the cake as the longest standing members. Swindon is very fortunate to have such great Dementia support.” 

Memory Café Co-ordinator, Steph Newton said, “Today is a wonderful milestone for the Pinetrees Memory Café and we are so grateful to the musicians, activity leaders, volunteers and those attending the café, who have made today so incredibly special.

"Our Café is great place for those in Swindon, living with Dementia and their carer or companion to enjoy activities that have been designed with them in mind and to connect with others who are in similar circumstances to them. It is lovely to see the group supporting each other and the friendships that have blossomed at the Café in the last 4 years.”

The day started with taster sessions of the group’s favourite activities: singing, hosted by volunteer Debra Hale and a movement to music session with Lin Jefferies from Lin’s Fitness, which had the attendees smiling and up on their feet.

This was followed by lunch, catered by Gorse Hill Tea Rooms and live piano music from Graham @ The Piano. Julie Hunt closed the day’s celebration with a musical performance.  

The Pinetrees Memory Café meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at Pinetrees Community Centre from 1:30pm – 3:30pm.

Regular activities include gentle bingo, seasonal parties, quizzes, use of the magic table (tovertafel), singing for the brain, crafts and movement to music.  All the activities are followed by refreshments.

Chair of Pinetrees Memory Café, Cllr. Carol Shelley said “It was a great opportunity to celebrate our Memory Cafe and the journey we have all been on. Dementia is such a cruel disease impacting both the sufferer and their loved ones.  We are so proud to be able to offer an afternoon of shared activity and the chance for carers to share experiences and support each other. We are looking forward to another year of shared fun.”

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