Dementia café will be boost for town

Gabrielle Pagan project co-ordinator and Jo Mountjoy-Dixondementia lead at Age UK Norfolk outside th

Gabrielle Pagan project co-ordinator and Jo Mountjoy-Dixondementia lead at Age UK Norfolk outside the Dove dementia Café held at the Diss United Reform Church. - Credit: Rebecca Murphy

The opening of a new café in Diss has propelled the town forward as a dementia-friendly community.

The Dove Dementia Café, held at the Diss United Reform Church on Mere Street, served its first teas and cakes yesterday and now hopes to raise more awareness and end the stigma against the disease.

Age UK Norfolk hopes that through the opening of the café - which joins the Pabulum Café held at the Denny Centre on Victoria Road and Weavers Court off Mount Street - that people within the community can become more informed. Jo Mountjoy-Dixon, Age UK Norfolk dementia lead, said: 'There is a social stigma against dementia and it is something people need to be aware of. A lot of people who attend the cafés are people in their 50s. It's not just older people.'

In June the town followed in the footsteps of Wymondham and Swaffham to become a dementia-friendly place when a scheme from Age UK Norfolk was introduced to increase understanding of the condition, so people living with dementia and their carers are able to use local businesses and amenities and live independently in their homes for longer.

The café will be open the first Wednesday of every month between 10am and 1pm.

Mrs Mountjyoy-Dioxon added: 'Sometimes it's best to be able to share with people going through the same as each other. Wymondham started one six years ago and now they have 50 dementia patients and 50 carers, and we expect this to grow.

'It keeps the carers from depression and isolation. If we can help to keep the carer healthy and feel like they are supported it helps them to do their job which a lot of them didn't sign up for.'

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Gabrielle Pagan, the project co-ordinator, said the scheme has received support through funding and volunteers.

She said: 'We got a grant from Norfolk County Council of £1,500 and the Rotary for £468. We also have been well supported by 17 volunteers who all have loads of gifts to bring.'

For more information, call Gabrielle Pagan on 01379 650770 or visit or

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