A guide to setting up a memory café

This guidance written by David Light and Jim Delves explains what a memory café is and offers tips on how to set up and deliver one. The guidance is informed by the authors experience is setting up many of the memory cafés in Devon.

A memory café provides a place where people who may have a short term memory problem or their carers can talk to an experienced volunteer or a professional member of the local mental health team. They are different from memory clinics and memory assessment services which are formal assessment and diagnostic services for dementia run by the NHS.

Memory cafés can support people to seek referral to a memory clinic via their local GP. They can assist in the process of early diagnosis of dementia and provide a useful entry point to the care system.

If you are looking for a memory café you may be intested in exploring an interactive map of the memory services, cafés and groups across the South West which we have begun to devlop. This builds on the excellent work undertaken by Andy Francis to develop a UK directory of memory cafés www.memorycafes.org.uk.