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Reading FC Community Trust

☕ The Madejski Stadium Dementia Café serving up more than just tea to the local community

Project set to reopen to local community in need when lockdown next allows...

1 March 2021

Thanks to fans’ Season Ticket donations to Community Trust projects, dementia-sufferers will be able to use our Trust’s café sessions as soon as it is safe to open once more…

The Dementia Café in partnership with Reading Football Club Community Trust and Age UK Berkshire was set up as a pilot scheme in February 2020 seeing around 20 participants, many with their family or their carers, visit the café at Madejski Stadium during two-hour long open sessions.

The aim of the Café is to invite local people suffering with dementia to the stadium for a cup of tea with someone who understands.

Highly-skilled staff can give information to those dropping by and help signpost participants to other available support services for those tackling the challenge of dementia.

As part of the sessions, staff members from the club have been on hand to talk about the history of the club, the highs and lows of seasons gone by and even a few past players have attended – all helping to rekindle memories for those who might be struggling with the condition.

These are small offerings. But they can make a huge difference. When you or someone you know has dementia, these cafés provide a safe and supportive place for people to:

  • discuss their own dementia diagnosis, or someone else’s, and think about what it means for the future
  • get answers from health professionals and meet and learn from other people in similar situations
  • keep active, make new friends and feel more confident.

The pandemic hit hard and these services will prove more important than ever for many people once the Demecntia Café is able to relaunch.

This week sees the start of the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action across football. Level Playing Field believes that being a disabled person is a social issue and that an individual only becomes disabled because of the social, attitudinal and environmental barriers that the individual faces.

Their efforts are focussed on removing these barriers in all sports.

And thanks to the Community Trust donations made by Royals fans who generously opted to move their outstanding 2019-20 Season Ticket money to support community projects such as the Dementia Café, out Trust are able to open the Cafe's doors again when it is next safe to do so.

The Dementia Café will be open once or twice a month with residents from the whole of Berkshire given the opportunity to attend through Age UK Berkshire.

The Community Trust are passionate about providing needed services for participants of all ages, working in partnership with local and national charities – and the Dementia Café is a great example of how the power of the football club can bring much pleasure to both individuals and their families who are effected by dementia.

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