Norfolk pubs provide dementia-friendly lunches

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The Chequers at Feltwell in Norfolk opened the doors for its first ‘dementia-friendly’ pub lunch earlier this month for people living with dementia to attend with their carers, family and friends.

The aim of the lunches is to provide the welcoming atmosphere of a pub that is fully accessible and neutral in décor. Dementia awareness training is available but not compulsory.

Having heard of the dementia friendly scheme the owner of The Chequers, Jeremy Holmes, felt it would benefit the Feltwell community and the surrounding areas to provide a regular dementia friendly lunch. These will now take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 12-2pm and will include a two-course meal for £6.50 followed by table top activities for those that would like to participate.

Jeremy said: “Our first lunch wasn’t that well attended but we are hoping that numbers will rise as we raise awareness and we already have firm interest for the next one on 2nd March. If successful we will offer any types of activity requested such as card or board games, a tea dance or even a film. We are open to ideas.”

The Chequers in Feltwell follows the launch of two Dementia friendly pub lunches in West Norfolk last year at the Chequers in Wimbotsham and the Anvil in Congham. Both these pubs are well attended with positive customer feedback and regular bookings.

Gemma Liczbinski, Development Worker for Adult Social Services at Norfolk County Council said: “The idea behind the dementia-friendly pub lunches is to support and empower individuals to regain part of their lives that is missing to maximise their wellbeing. Many couples living with dementia find it difficult to have enjoyable social outings together and most breaks from the home are to a day centre or dementia café. Whilst both offer brilliant respite neither were providing the couple with time together in an informal relaxed way.

“The pubs we are working with have shown great support for the scheme; a willingness to look into dementia awareness training and to hold information on Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK to provide further support where needed.”

Any other pubs who want to join the scheme can contact us for more information.