Loneliness can be found throughout our neighbourhoods, especially with the elderly. It is down to the community to combat this.


In Wembley, St Cuthberts Church work hard to run the Memory Café – a club that welcomes all people of the community including the disabled, elderly and the lonely. With the help of the Vicar and the volunteers, they run a vital social event which provides many useful and important services.


As well as food, confectionary and Christmas present donations from the people of the local temple, the club hosts a range of activities for people to get involved with and socialise. A choir was set up by the volunteers from the local church and a pianist who was part of the congregation. From this, attendees of the Memory Café have had been given the chance to do performances at different venues - an activity which has been very popular with more performances to come this year.


The Memory Café helps a number of people who are facing problems or difficulties. This also includes any safeguarding issues with several volunteers having safeguarding qualifications. By having this support available, people can work through their issues whilst among friends. They are given a sense of worth, belonging and a better outlook on life.


Is it time we see more clubs like this? “Yes, definitely” said Bernadine, a volunteer at the Memory Café. “ There are a lot of health problems associated with loneliness.  Many lonely people, elderly and / or disabled people feel sad, depressed and worthless.  It gives companionship and enjoyment that people can share together and injects happiness into their lives.   When they can visit clubs like this, it makes a tremendous difference to their lives, to be able to talk through problems with others who may have similar problems or may be able to help.  All this can only be of benefit to society as a whole.”


Clubs like these do not only just help the people that visit, but the experience they provide is invaluable to volunteers. Connecting with members of the local community brings people together and helps combat loneliness, no matter the age group. “Many volunteers find it a rewarding experience which enhances their lives as well as the lives of those who attend the Memory Café.” Bernadine explained.


“Other churches have recognized our Memory Café and people have visited us to see how to start, develop and run a successful Memory Café in their own church or community centre.  These visitors have talked to the people who run it here and the local people who attend.”


Hopefully, we will see more of theses clubs pop up to bring people closer together during the New Year.


Esme Magnier