Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.07.47MIDDLESBROUGH’S successful Memory Lane Dementia Café is celebrating its first anniversary.

The monthly event began at Middlesbrough Central Library in September last year and now attracts on average 35 people to each session.

Due to its popularity a dementia café was opened at North Ormesby Hub, and then due to continued demand from carers a third has begun at Acklam Library.

It is hoped to roll out more cafes in libraries and community centres across the town in the coming year.

Middlesbrough residents with dementia and their carers have enjoyed quizzes, reminiscence activities, singing for the brain sessions and guest speakers.

A small celebration to mark the anniversary was held at Central Library. Last year all library staff and volunteers teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to become Dementia Friends as part of the national awareness raising initiative.

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd, himself a signed up Dementia Friend, said: “The Memory Lane Dementia Cafes are vitally important in our efforts to raise awareness of dementia and I’m pleased to see so many people attending and enjoying the session.

“I’m proud to be a Dementia Friend and I would recommend everyone to take a look at the website to gain a better understanding of both the disease and the campaign.

“This is an issue we will put at the forefront of our policies for adult social care and we will be aiming to hold Dementia Cafes across all areas of the town.”

Michael Hall, volunteer officer for Alzheimer’s Society Tees Valley, said: “The cafes have gone from strength to strength in Middlesbrough and the partnership with Middlesbrough Council and the libraries is fantastic.

“We are getting loads of regulars and lots of new people too. In the Central Library we’ve had to move from a small side room into the Reference Library.

“We’re now looking for more volunteers and would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in getting involved.”

Memory Lane Dementia Cafes are currently held at:

North Ormesby on the first Wednesday of the month, 1pm—3pm, Community Hub, Derwent Street, North Ormesby TS3 6JB.

Middlesbrough on the third Wednesday of the month, 1pm—3pm, Central Library, Victoria Square, Middlesbrough TS1 2AY.

Acklam on the fourth Thursday of the month, 1.30pm—3.30pm, Acklam Library, Acklam Road, Middlesbrough TS5 7AB.

To learn more about Dementia Friends visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk or to speak to someone locally about the campaign or volunteering call Alzheimer’s Society Tees Valley on 01624 442030 or email michael.hall@alzheimers.org.uk.