Angela Scott and Gill Holt – Anna Chaplain and Anna Friend at Christ Church Chislehurst – work together to support older people in their church and local community. One way they do this is through the Dementia Café Christ Church has been running for several years on the first Thursday afternoon of each month. Most people who attend are not church members, but they enjoy the space the café provides to meet other people, enjoy refreshments and take part in fun activities.
Visiting musicians often entertain the group and sessions have a seasonal flavour, with a short optional hymn singing and homily in the church offered at Harvest, Christmas and Easter. By popular demand, a tradition of finishing each session with the hokey cokey was established early on which sends everyone off on a positive note!
The local GP practice refers patients to the dementia café and the group is also linked with Bromley Dementia Support Hub. Between sessions, volunteers keep in touch with regulars through phone support. During the pandemic the dementia café has moved online and has been valued more than ever by people with dementia and their carers who have been isolated during lockdown.