BRAMHOPE is to take a step closer to achieving Dementia Friendly status by opening a Memory Cafe.

The Care for a Cuppa cafe will be held in the Village Hall on the first Tuesday of each month - beginning on Tuesday, March 3. Running from 1.30pm to 3.30pm in the venue’s Bramhope Room, the sessions are open to anyone living with dementia and their carers.

As well as refreshments the cafe - cost £2, with the first session free - will also include activities like games, quizzes, singing, reminiscing and chair exercises.

Its opening is down to the efforts of local resident Catherine Birkby and a small group of volunteers. Catherine has also been working on the wider goal of making Bramhope a more dementia friendly place by talking to businesses, individuals and schools.

She said: “We are hoping the cafe will be a place where those living with dementia can feel valued and that carers can have the opportunity to chat to others in a similar situation, and maybe share advice.

“At the first session it is hoped people living with dementia will come along with ideas as to what they would like from the cafe - suggestions, ideas and contributions would be appreciated to ensure the cafe meets their needs.”

Catherine’s work is being backed by Bramhope and Carlton Parish Council whose Chair, Councillor Hilary Harris, is now a member of the Dementia Friends group. She said: “I am really impressed with the way in which Catherine has managed to launch the cafe in a relatively short space of time.

“She came to address the parish council and was seeking our support, not in a financial sense but so she could say her efforts were supported. However, we have been able to offer some support by helping with publicity and when the last Village Newsletter went out we included the flyer about the cafe.

“We will also be advertising the cafe on our notice boards, website and Facebook page.

“Catherine has held Dementia Friendly talks in the village including one at West Park Rugby Club, which I attended.

“Initially, I said that I would attend to show the support of the council but did not wish to commit to further involvement. However I found Catherine to be so inspiring and was so impressed with her perseverance that I decided to join.”

A number of Bramhope businesses, plus the Trustees of the Village Hall, have also provided or offered practical help to the group.