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FIRST DEMENTIA CAFÉ A SUCCESS

9 June 2022

"It’s been great to see so many people who are living with dementia in the community come together"

Over 30 people were in attendance at the first of the Community Trust's The Golden Days Café sessions today, which supports those living with dementia, alongside their carers and those bereaved.

The monthly initiative, which is run in partnership with Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance (IDAA), is hosted in the Hall of Fame restaurant at Portman Road.

Refreshments and lunch were provided for all attendees and volunteers, who could share stories of their time following Town and have a chat in a relaxed environment.

Town CEO Mark Ashton also popped along to have a chat with those in attendance and show his support for The Golden Days Café launch.

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Leanne Smith, Community Engagement Coordinator with the Club's Community Trust, led the session and spoke about its success as well as her own family experience with dementia.

"It’s been great to see so many people who are living with dementia in the community come together, with lots of Town fans sharing their memories with us," she told the Club website.

"Dementia affects so many of us, including my family. I lost both of my grandads to dementia so to be able to bring this project together has been amazing. Seeing everyone smiling has brought back so many memories of my family’s journey, and I’m really pleased that we can give people a safe place at Portman Road to come and spend time with their families.

"The idea of community engagement is to bring fans of the Club and other people together, whether that be children or adults. It’s so important that we bring our fanbase together and provide these opportunities." 

The Golden Days Café's launch and first year of operation has been made possible by securing sponsorship from Ellison’s Foundation, part of Ellisons Solicitors, based in Colchester.

Nicola Weldon, Partner & Head of Private Client at Ellisons Solicitors, was in attendance for the inaugural morning at Portman Road and added: "Ellisons Solicitors have offices across Suffolk and Essex, and we are really passionate about being involved in and supporting the local community. 

"My area of practice is private client and that involves me helping families of people who have been diagnosed with dementia, or who are living with dementia, and supporting them. This café is something I’m really passionate about."

The Golden Days Café takes place on the first Thursday of every month, with the second session being held on 7 July. For more details, please contact leanne.smith@itfc.co.uk.

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