A new Dementia Café will launch today (Tuesday 17th September) at Burnham-On-Sea’s Priory Court Care & Nursing Home in Oxford Street in conjunction with the official Burnham and Highbridge Dementia Action Alliance group.

The café will run from 10.30am to 12.00pm on the third Tuesday of every month in the dining room, which is set up in line with a familiar café environment, and is open to anyone to attend within the community that lives with or is affected by dementia.

Debbie Matthews, who is in charge of the DAA group for Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge said: “After taking a maternity break from the group, I have been keen for the last few months to get it reinstated, so when Steve Duncan approached me it seemed a perfect time to arrange an initial brainstorming session to see what we could do.”

“I also involved our local Village Agent, Steve Ballinger, to create an action plan going forward that is structured and sees everyone involved working together to achieve a better outcome for people living with dementia and those who love and care for them in our community, and allow people to live well and independently with dementia for as long as possible.”

Steve Duncan, Customer Relations Manager at Priory Court Care & Nursing Home, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Priory Court is honoured to be able to host the Dementia Café for Burnham on Sea for the Dementia Action Alliance and the residents of Burnham, Highbridge and surrounding areas.”

“We have always prided ourselves on working closely with the community and this enables us to do our small part in what is a great project for individuals effected by dementia, their families and even the businesses in the area.”

“There is the potential that Burnham-On-Sea to be considered a ‘Dementia Friendly Town’ which would obviously attract people into the town for shopping, holidays and to reside here.”

“We look forward to hosting the Café to Priory Court and welcoming the local community to our home for a free hot drink, biscuits in a friendly atmosphere.”

Steve Ballinger, CCS Village Agent for Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge and a founder member of the local DAA Group, added: “I meet a lot of people with dementia in my role as an NHS-funded Village Agent. This is great initiative to support people with dementia and their carers. I look forward to seeing the café grow and flourish.”

“I’m also to looking forward to working with the DAA Group on further initiatives to help make Burnham-On-Sea & Highbridge a dementia aware resort, something that I feel would be of great benefit to the community.”

Going forward, the plan is to involve local businesses that would be willing to support Burnham-On-Sea & Highbridge becoming a dementia aware resort, which has huge benefits for people that live here, and visitors to the area.

This would involve free Dementia Friends awareness training for business owners and more community events and initiatives.

Debbie has recently set up an initiative in horseracing that has been recognised by VisitEngland as best practice in dementia tourism, and with the purple pound injecting £249billion into the UK economy every year, and the value of the ‘dementia pound’, which is the spending power of households affected by dementia, set to double to £22.7billion by 2030, from £11billion in 2014, it makes commercial sense for destinations and businesses to become more dementia aware.

Anyone wishing to become involved with the reinstated DAA Group is welcome to attend the Café on the 17th September, or email Debbie at deborah@successfulstays.co.uk