The vital role community groups play in dementia care has been highlighted in the work of a County Durham memory cafe.

The chair of Durham County Council has highlighted and praised the work of a local community group that supports people living with dementia.

Councillor Joan Nicholson, chair of Durham County Council, attended Sedgefield Memory Café to meet with clients and volunteers, and with local county councillors David Brown and Chris Lines.

She had been invited by the team that runs the café after they learned that she is fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society during her civic year.

Sedgefield Memory Café is held every month in Sedgefield Methodist Church Hall and is open to residents living with dementia and their carers.

The Northern Echo: Sedgefield Memory Cafe is held in the Methodist Church Hall every monthSedgefield Memory Cafe is held in the Methodist Church Hall every month (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

There are more than 100 different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is one. The café is run by volunteers from the community, led by Dorothy Anderson and Carol Briggs, who also have to find the money to sustain the project through coffee mornings and other fundraising.

Each month, the team puts on different activities for clients, and also organises day trips during the year.

During her visit, Cllr Nicholson and her consort Rob Nicholson were welcomed by Carol, who introduced them to the rest of the team and some of the regular attendees.

Along with Cllrs Brown and Lines, Cllr Nicholson took part in the morning’s activities and discussed future plans for the café with the volunteers.

The Northern Echo: Cllrs Joan Nicholson and Chris Lines take part in activities at Sedgefield Memory CafeCllrs Joan Nicholson and Chris Lines take part in activities at Sedgefield Memory Cafe (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

Cllr Nicholson said: “It was a privilege to meet everyone at Sedgefield Memory Café.

"Community initiatives like this play an absolutely vital role in dealing with the day to day impact of dementia. They offer amazing local support and it was clear that everyone who visits the café values that hugely.

"This is so important alongside the wider work that the Alzheimer’s Society does to offer support to those living with dementia, and also fund medical research into life-changing treatments.”

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Carol added: “Joan got really involved in the morning and spent a lot of time chatting to our customers. I enjoyed talking with her about the work that she is doing to support the Alzheimer’s Society and give her an insight into how we make a difference here in Sedgefield.

"Cllr Nicholson’s visit will raise awareness of our café and I hope that this will help with our fundraising, and encourage those who are living with dementia to join us each time we open.”

  • To find out more about Sedgefield Memory Café, contact Dorothy on 07773-286743 or Carol on 07843-982071.