A newly established memory cafe, organised by Northampton Saints Foundation with the goal of tackling loneliness and social isolation, has doubled the number of participants in its initial months.
The initiative, aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of the community, was made possible through a £5,000 grant from the Northampton Queen’s Institute Relief Fund, administered by the Northamptonshire Community Foundation.
Held each month at Cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, the memory cafe covers a diverse range of topics, including family traditions, childhood games, school days, holidays, and first job experiences, evoking cherished memories among the attendees.
As the charity arm of Northampton Saints, the Foundation uses the power and values of sport to bring a lasting change to people, with the memory cafe being the latest initiative.
“It has been lovely to welcome more participants each month, fostering a safe and inclusive environment for sharing their stories,” said Clare. “The sessions blend conversations and activities designed to stimulate various aspects of the participants’ minds, with the aim of improving engagement and involvement.
“Many of the attendees come from local care homes and support groups who have seen a reduction in community initiatives since the Covid-19 pandemic and we are grateful to the young people on our programmes and volunteers, who have supported the sessions each week.”
According to the 2019 Age UK Loneliness and Covid-19 report, the pandemic has created a new wave of lonely older people. It also states that difficulties with physical and mental health can reduce older people’s ability to participate in community activities and can inhibit their ability to maintain or establish meaningful relationships. This can increase feelings of loneliness and make it challenging to manage or lessen such feelings. The report also documents that there were 1.4 million older people experiencing the effects of loneliness pre-pandemic, with this figure looking likely to exceed two million before 2026.
For more information, to attend or volunteer, contact email@example.com
Find out more about Northampton Saints Foundation at their website.