New Sweet Memories café opens in Bickley for dementia sufferers

Robert Whyte House (RWH), a social housing scheme in Oldfield Road, Bickley for over 55s run by leading social housing provider Stonewater, opened its doors this month to the new Sweet Memories café for dementia sufferers, their carers and families in the Bromley community.

cafe opening.jpg
Tea party

The tranquil eatery, located within RWH’s beautiful dining room, will offer a range of tasty snacks and hot and cold drinks every Wednesday from 2.00pm to 4.30pm.

The new café is designed to create a nostalgic, safe and social environment for dementia sufferers and their carers to meet, make new friends and to receive helpful advice and information on their condition where required. It will host a variety of guest speakers and music and craft events, often with a 40s or 50s era theme, together with a delicious menu and a choice of teas and drinks.

Robert Whyte House Project Manager Linda Lawless said: “The new dementia café focusses specifically on nostalgic details from the dementia sufferers past which helps to create a comfortable, friendly and familiar atmosphere in which they can socialise, receive help and support and become less isolated. The experience is designed to help people leave the café with a sense of well-being.”

The opening event was celebrated by RWH residents, staff and local members of the community with a tasty high tea served on Royal Albert China. Special guests attending the event included representatives from Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust who provided funding for the scheme. Funding was also given by John Lewis, The Rotary Club of Chislehurst and the Stonewater Community Investment Fund.

The spread was prepared and served by experienced RWH on site staff who have been trained in Dementia Awareness.

Some of the funding provided for the café has also been used to renovate the garden at RWH located close to the café. The garden now offers colourful benches and plants and vegetable patches to create an extra sensory experience which is known to help dementia sufferers.