Dementia Café – Community Collaboration with Maplesden Noakes School

4th February 2020
Julie Anderson

Rap Interiors is supporting dementia care by sponsoring and taking part in Maplesden Noakes School’s “Dementia Café” scheme. Hosted by Maplesden Noakes’ social care students, the café will be located in the school’s main hall and open to local dementia care homes in Kent.

During the event, which will be held on a quarterly basis, the dementia patients will be provided tea, coffee, entertainment, music, dancing and cakes baked by the students. Not only is this fantastic for the community, it forms a key part of the students’ social care curriculum. Having met the students, it is clear that they love getting involved in a just cause while learning some valuable skills along the way.

Dementia touches almost 90% of us in some way or another, either personally or through a loved one. While it is a hard to see the demise of a person you know and love, schemes like the Dementia Café help to change the perception of the illness and enlighten the day for the visitor. The Dementia Café provides an opportunity for those suffering to enjoy a fun and relaxing afternoon and, having attended a number of the events, the welcoming vibe and positivity they generate leave you feeling uplifted.

After losing my Mum through dementia four years ago, this scheme is of course close to my heart. And despite experiencing the difficulty of seeing a loved one’s demise, and nothing you can do to ease the confusion and frustration of the illness, I am motivated by fact I have at last found the “thing” that will make a difference: engaging those who suffer – with incredible young people. I’m hoping this might be something close to your heart too.

Moving forward, our aim – if possible – is to engage the whole school. For example, business studies students can manage the donations and accounts, food technology students can make the cakes, drama students can provide entertainment, English students can read to the visitors, and music students can give us a song! Furthermore, we want to get the students entertaining the visitors & play and come up with new games that work for those with Dementia.

To support the Dementia Café, we are currently researching and working with Alzheimer’s UK, we have Garden Of England Care providers on the board, a governor who is knowledgable about just giving donation sites, PHSE students, and hope to invite other connections who will add value to the business thinking model we are creating.

We would also love to see the Dementia Café carry on for years to come, but, in order to make this happen, the scheme will rely on funding. As such, I hope that this story will give businesses the “feel good factor” and encourage them to get involved, which of course we welcome!

I am contacting you to consider helping this model, which, if we get right, will encourage other schools to do this with Business support.

How Can You Help?

I have attached a wish list of things which I hope you would consider providing or donate a little money towards. Our Community Board for the Dementia Café will ensure any money donated is purchased for these events. If any of you can help please email me ( I can keep a list of the item you might be able to help with so we are ready to kick start these Dementia Cafes………….. as we are just setting up the donate button. 😊

The next event is 7th Feb, which I appreciate is very soon. The next one is April 1st with an Easter theme. For the April event, we plan to involve the art department and have craft activities such as decorating Easter eggs or straw hats. We would love to have you as a supporter on this exciting venture.

As part of a bigger challenge, the students have previously benefited from an experience on a dementia bus (please see the following link for more information:
https://www.skillsplatform.org/courses/6029-dementia-bus). This costs the school £1000 per time so, as you can imagine, it is currently only achievable to have it once a year. They would love to have this 4-6 times per year, so we would welcome any donations to help make this happen.

Working with Maplesden Noakes I want to reach out to more care homes and those living at home with supported care/carers. Therefore, I will personally be approaching care homes and supported care companies to see if we can include more people at these amazing café afternoons.

If you would like to be more involved and contribute to ideas and fundraising, we would love to include you. You would be very welcome to contact me and discuss any further ideas…. I would love your input from a business perspective or from a personal point of view.

The cafes are run ¼ ly so some items are bought once and some are needed every ¼.

Please call me on 07956 315755 or email me via Julie@rapinteriors.co.uk
I’ll be posting on social media and our news blog so you can follow our achievements (hopefully with your help) on all platforms.

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