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Cllr Lisa Rutter officially opens Dementia Café at Barnet General Hospital
People shared their experiences of living with dementia at the launch of a “wonderful” café to help people deal with the illness.
The new Dementia Café at Finchley Memorial Hospital in Granville Road was officially opened by its founder, former mayor Councillor Lisa Rutter on Wednesday.
During her mayoral year, which ran from 2011 to 2012, Cllr Rutter's chosen charity was the Alzheimer’s Association and she said she was keen to continue supporting the cause.
Around 60 people turned up to last week’s launch, including Mayor of Barnet Melvin Cohen, Finchley MP Mike Freer and Morella Kayman, who co-founded the Alzheimer’s Society.
Cllr Rutter said: “Having dementia is not something which is really spoken about and there’s a huge stigma against it but I’m determined to change that.
“Many people with the condition are branded mad but that isn’t the case at all.
“This support group will give people and their carers a place to talk about living with the condition in a relaxed setting. It could be a wonderful facility.”
Run by the Alzheimer’s Society, it will meet on the second Wednesday of every month.
Cllr Rutter raised £17,500 during her mayoral year to help pay for the new café.
She was inspired after her mother was diagnosed with the condition and she saw first-hand the debilitating effects dementia can have on the person and their families.
She added: “I have a personal passion about it because I’ve seen how it can affect people. My father is great but it is very tiring for him.
“Nobody knows how tiring looking after someone with dementia can be – hopefully, this will help.
“I am also hoping that people will recognise that we will need funds in the future to keep the café going and therefore any contributions are always welcome.”