Chair’s 2nd Annual Report 2015—2016

LogoChair’s 2nd Annual Report 2015 –  2016

Review of the Year:
We started our second year by opening on the 4th Thursday of the month as well as the 2nd Thursday. We wanted to extend the range of our activities by inviting a range of professionals: dance therapists, artists and story-tellers to lead sessions in music and other artistic and cultural pursuits.
Cafe activities on the 2nd Thursday of the month have been based on a theme including holidays, weddings, nature, the Queen’s birthday party, festivals and customs, and have included quizzes and visiting musical groups. They always end with group singing. In June we took advantage of the balmy weather to venture out into the Middle Street Centre garden for a BBQ.
Individual massage and aromatherapy sessions are offered on 2nd Thursdays. The activities at both sessions have proved equally popular, with between 30-40 guests and supporters attending – in many cases coming to both sessions! In addition to the regular Cafe sessions at Middle Street Resource Centre, we have organised optional visits to Djanogly Art Gallery at Nottingham University and to Bromley Library in the city centre.

Our Community: Over the past 2 years we have touched the lives of 57 people living with dementia and 76 supporters. Some no longer attend due to increasingly poor mental or physical well-being. Some are now in long-term residential or nursing care. Almost every session brings new guests and supporters. Cafe sessions are attended by an average of 35-40 guests and supporters, plus 10 volunteers and 6 or 7 committee members. In addition we regularly have a musical group or singers. Plus, there are often visitors, coming to see how we operate – all making for a very full house! Although we are based in Beeston, all are welcome and those attending come from the surrounding areas of Broxtowe and Derbyshire as well as Nottingham City.
We produce posters and flyers which are distributed in local GP surgeries, local stores and churches. We have held Awareness Raising events in Sainsbury’s and Tescos, as well as having a stall at Beeston Carnival. We have also run Dementia Friends Awareness sessions in conjunction with Broxtowe Borough Council, Attenborough Nature Reserve and local stores. We raised awareness by providing refreshments at the 2nd Anniversary of the Beeston Park Run again this year.

Film & TV:In August we featured in a report on East Midlands News. Footage taken at our recent 2nd Anniversary celebration was included in the film shown at the NHS Nottingham West CCG AGM held on 29 September 2016.

New this Year:
Becoming a Charity: Any organisation with an income more than £5,000 a year must register with the Charity Commission. We have met this threshold thanks to many generous donors, including Notts County Council, who awarded us £5,000 for each of the 3 years 2015 – 2018. On advice we have applied for registration as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with the current 12 members of the Memory Cafe Committee becoming voting trustees.

Long-term sustainability: Current funding of the Memory Cafe is heavily dependent on grants and donations. These funding streams cannot be relied on long-term. The Charity Commission and Notts County Council both advise holding reserves of at least 6 months’ running costs. In addition funds need to be reserved to allow for long-term planning, such as increasing the frequency of Memory Cafe sessions and the possible, consequential need to employ a sessional worker to ease the workload of the current volunteer organisers.
From 1 January 2017 we will be introducing a charge of £2 per person (maximum £4 per group) to reduce our reliance on grant funding and ensure the Memory Cafe will be viable for many years to come.

OUR THIRD YEAR BEGINS…. with a proposal to open on the 1st Thursday of the month in addition to the 2nd and 4th. We are currently seeking guests’ and supporters’ opinion on the proposed content and style of this session.
2nd Thursday will continue with a varied programme of themes and activities, including singing and therapy sessions.
4th Thursday will continue to be led by a range of professionals exploring new cultural and artistic avenuesClosing remarks: The Memory Cafe shows it is possible to live well with dementia. Fun and laughter are the essence of the Cafe. We meet in a friendly venue filled with people who enjoy themselves and look forward to every session. It is a caring community. This is made possible through the support of local authorities and the local community, a committed group of volunteers and everyone who comes. Thank you. Janet Patrick, Chair
‘We were blown away with the atmosphere of the Cafe and the difference you are making to people’s lives’
Rachael Milliband, Communications & Engagement Manager, NHS Nottingham West Clinical Commissioning Group, after visiting the Memory Cafe 2nd Anniversary party on 8 September 2016.

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