Memory Café at the National Waterways Museum

Working together with the Alzheimer’s Society, our Waterside Cafe at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port is opening its doors every month to create the Safe Harbour Cafe - a memory cafe for people with dementia.

The Safe Harbour cafe: our regular memory cafe at the National Waterways Museum The Safe Harbour cafe: our regular memory cafe at the National Waterways Museum

Museums are great places for evoking memories, bringing people together and sparking conversations.

Azheimers logoSo, the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port is the perfect venue for the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Safe Harbour’ Memory Café.

Over a cuppa and slice of cake people affected by dementia, including carers, can meet other people, share experiences and enjoy some precious time away from their usual routines.

The monthly sessions started in May 2018 and the warm welcome from the friendly staff, relaxing waterside views and evocative setting are proving very popular.

As Jo Hawkins, operations manager for Cheshire and St Helen’s says: “We want to ensure that people with dementia, and their carers, remain socially active. The café is a great place to get together and enjoy the support of people with similar experiences. Of course we have many important discussions around Alzheimer’s but, importantly, it’s a chance to focus on other things – whether it’s a word search, a quiz or just some local gossip. The museum prompts great conversations and reminiscences. And the views are just so uplifting. For us it offers a perfect scenario.”

The Safe Harbour gathering supporting local people with dementia

For nearly two years Helen Truss has cared for her mother-in-law Joan, who has dementia. She visited the café in May and said: “It is great for Joan to go to cafés as she feels like she has had a day out but it also does a lot for me too.

“It makes me realise that I am not alone as a carer and is a fun couple of hours when I can just relax and chat to other carers.”

A ‘dementia-friendly’ venue 

As a ‘dementia-friendly’ venue a number of museum staff are trained ‘dementia friends’. This gives them a greater understanding of the condition and the best ways to support those affected by it.

Graham Boxer, head of museums for the Canal & River Trust said: “Alzheimer’s Society asked people to consider actions we can all take to create a dementia-friendly world. We’re happy to play our part by helping to develop the café and becoming a dementia-friendly venue. As well as enjoying the museum we also hope that visitors will feel the benefits of being by the water.”

Memory Cafe opening times

Our new Memory café is the fourth Friday of every month.

Open: 10.30am to 12 noon

No need to pay or book just turn up.

For more information either call The Alzheimer’s Society on 0300 369 0570 or call us here at the museum on 0151 355 5017.

Last date edited: 6 March 2019