Memory café to be launched in Selkirk

An exciting initiative is being launched in Selkirk next month to enhance the well-being of people living with dementia.

By John Smail
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 3:48 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd August 2021, 3:49 pm
Borders MP John Lamont pictured in Selkirk on Friday with Memory Café organisers Chris Sharpe and Helen Sceats. Photo: John Smail.
Borders MP John Lamont pictured in Selkirk on Friday with Memory Café organisers Chris Sharpe and Helen Sceats. Photo: John Smail.

A special ‘Memory Café’ will be held in the town’s St John’s Church on the first Tuesday of every month, to provide a safe and supportive place where people with memory loss, and their carers, can connect, learn and engage with others.

To publicise the venture, St John’s Church set up an information desk in Selkirk’s ‘pop-up shop’ on Friday, and one of the first visitors through the door was local MP John Lamont.

“I’m very conscious that dementia is now affecting an increasing number of our population,” said Mr Lamont, “so projects such as the ‘Memory Café’ are very much to be welcomed.

“In the light of the challenges presented by the pandemic over the past 18 months, this will undoubtedly be of huge benefit in terms of bringing the local community closer together.”

The café, whose opening hours will be from 2-3.30pm, is the brainchild of Mrs Chris Sharpe, a member of the St John’s congregation.

Along with fellow church member Helen Sceats, Chris has been recruiting volunteers to run the café as well as making sure everything will be in place for the opening on Tuesday, September 7.

“St John’s has recently undergone a major refurbishment,” said Mrs Sharpe, “and we now have enough space and modern facilities to make our Memory Café plan a reality.

“As well as refreshments, there will be a variety of activities on offer, including games and crafts, while we also hope to provide musical entertainment and singing.”

If the venture proves a success, then there is a possibility the Memory Café could be held at St John’s twice a month.

The project is being supported by the Life Changes Trust, which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Anyone wishing further information is asked to contact Mrs Chris Sharpe (tel. 01750 20546) or Mrs Heather Sceats (tel. 01750 779278).