Manx Decaf has used one of its regular monthly Dementia Cafes to celebrate becoming a registered charity, with a formal launch at the Palace Hotel on Friday, 26 October. Established in 2006 by staff from the then Department of Health and Social Security, Manx Decaf has gone on to grow to three monthly cafes across the Island. The cafes became so popular with those with memory problems, as well as their carers and relatives, that it was felt that gaining charity status was the best way to take the organisation forward and maximise its potential.
The event, attended by those who have memory problems, such as dementia, as well as their carers and family, also saw staff from the Department of Health and Department of Social Care in attendance to hand over the baton to the charity’s new committee. Guests included Leonard Singer MHK who serves as both Member for Mental Health Services and Member for Social Care; Lesley Keenan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of Health; Yvette Mellor, Chief Executive of the Department of Social Care; Dr Chris Jagus, Consultant Psychiatrist within the Older Persons Mental Health Service; and Adrian Tomkinson, General Manager of Older Person’s Social Care Services.
Commenting on the launch, Chair of Manx Decaf, Peter Newbold said: “Today’s launch is about celebrating how far we’ve come in the past six years, whilst at the same time creating awareness of this valuable resource. By launching Manx Decaf as a charity, it will allow us to continue to develop and promote this service in collaboration with our colleagues from health and social care. I’d like to extend my most sincere thanks to the staff from the Departments of Health and Social Care who initially established Manx Decaf and who continue to play such a fundamental part in the service’s success.”
The three cafes, which are based in Douglas, Ramsey and Port Erin, run once a month with each supported on a voluntary basis as well as by professional staff, Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers from the Departments of Health and Social Care.
Leonard Singer MHK, Member for Mental Health Services within the Department of Health and also Member for the Department of Social Care said: “I was delighted to be invited to attend Manx Decaf’s formal launch as a charity. This development shows the dedication and vision of not only our health and social care staff, but also of the volunteers – many of them directly touched by memory problems either as carers, relatives or friends of those with the condition. I am very pleased that we now have cafes in Ramsey and Port Erin, in addition to Douglas. I would encourage those affected by dementia, whether they themselves have the condition, or are simply a relative or friend, to visit to their nearest cafe – where they’ll be able to meet people in a similar situation and benefit from the support on offer.
“This form of partnership working between Government and the Third Sector is very much welcomed and will continue to grow in importance as we look to maximise involvement of voluntary and charitable organisations in service provision whilst Government looks to balance the books and meet the challenges of an ageing population.”
Dr Chris Jagus said: “Life expectancy in the Isle of Man continues to increase, and whilst this is obviously good news, it does bring with it many health and social care challenges. As we live longer, it gives more time for age related diseases to develop, such as Alzheimer’s. Incidence of dementia and other memory problems will continue to rise in the future; so resources such as Manx Decaf have a huge role to play in assisting those who have memory problems, as well as their carers, families and friends. Many people find themselves isolated trying to cope with confusion or trying to care for a loved one or close friend whose memory and abilities are slipping away; Manx Decaf looks to offer support and assistance as well as access to health and social care services, all in a social, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
“Although Manx Decaf has effectively evolved beyond being a project operated by the Isle of Man Government, the close working relationship between the charity’s volunteers and health and social care workers will continue, with staff remaining heavily involved in the charity’s work and services.”
There are three dementia cafes operated by Manx Decaf across the Island:
- Douglas; Whispers Bar, Palace Hotel and Casino – 2pm till 4pm, last Friday of every month
- Ramsey; Ramsey Town Hall, Function Room, 2nd Floor – 2pm till 4pm, second Thursday of every month
- Port Erin; Cherry Orchard Hotel – 2pm till 4pm, second Wednesday of every month.
There is a donation of £2.00 for tea, coffee and cakes.
For further information about Manx Decaf call the Older Persons Mental Health Service on 642879.