When there was a small number of Memory Cafes up and running their enthusiastic representatives met to create an informal network to provide mutual support. This led to a joint application with the statutory services to apply for grant funding to employ a co-ordinator to grow and sustain a network of Memory Cafes. This volunteer led process, was successful. For the years when grant funding was available the network grew. When the grant funding came to an end the Network activists created a Membership Organisation by constitution with is the organisation you find today managed by a committee of memory cafe representatives with some organisational partners.
Our situation now is that there are almost 50 Memory Cafes in the Cornwall Memory Cafe Network. All are independent, reflect the communities they serve, have variable years of existence, and a broad range of experience in their teams. Except for three highly valued staff, a co-ordinator and two Wayfinders, employed by Disability Cornwall for a particular project, Cornwall’s Memory Cafes are a totally volunteer led and delivered initiative estimated to involve 400 volunteers. All the Memory Cafes have been significantly affected by the pandemic and its periods of restrictions, supporting their participants in varied and creative ways. The majority have reopened sustaining those they have supported over years and reaching out to new participants, people with memory loss, their carers and volunteers. We are looking forward to a positive future together. Do visit us. You can find out when and where the Memory Cafes are open on this site.