Curious about our cafe? A Smorgasbord of life.

Curisoisty Smorgasbord.JPEG

Curiosity Cafe is a dementia positive programme for people living with dementia , their families and friends. It is facilitated by myself and Frances Anderson at The Dry Water Arts Centre in Amble, Northumberland

It is less of a cafe ( although we do all enjoy a fantastic shared lunch each week) and more about the art of managing the time and space collectively. What is it that you need NOW and HOW might we make that a possibility?

Much is made of person centred care and yet the majority of creative programmes/services for people living with dementia offer a one size fits all programme. An example of this would be an approach whereby everyone is encouraged to do one activity altogether with little regard for individual  preferences and often with no viable alternative on offer.

Person centred care should be characterised by an approach that genuinely places the person at the centre of their own care enabling them to express their wants, needs and opinions. Individuals are supported and enabled to contribute via inclusive decision making, the valuing of  different modes of communication and mutual respect.

It does take time ; smaller groups are therefore essential. Spend just a moment thinking about the phrase person centred and then it is as clear as clear can be that small and personal is where we need to have our focus and our resources.

The Dementia Friends training programme emphasizes that if you meet one person living with dementia have met one person living with dementia. In other words they are still a person with a unique set of beliefs , ideals, passions, aspirations ,likes and dislikes. 

If we are serious about being an inclusive and dementia friendly society then the “services” on offer have to change along with attitudes.

 The carers at Curiosity Cafe are very clear that they too are living with dementia, every waking moment. Becoming a full time carer vastly reduces individual freedom and crucially the ability to maintain social networks. Curiosity Cafe has always been offered to the people who directly experience the day to day challenges of living with dementia whether this be living with the  diagnosis or as a carer. Together we create a place and a philosophy  which has at its heart a sense of belonging and acceptance. A creative , social, supportive and spontaneous group of lovely folk - the essence of Curiosity Cafe

The  Curiosity Cafe  menu





Main Course

Choice - including the choice not to participate

Self selection of resources and equipment

Body time not clock time

Flux and Flow


Afters ( puddings if you are posh!)



Unexpected outcomes



"We are are so pleased to be part of the Curiosity Cafe. It allows us to take part in a fully inclusive group, together , yet gives us the opportunity to individually express ourselves. Nothing we do is ever incorrect, I cannot thank you enough as it allows me time to myself within the group enjoying activities I could not have imagined." CC participant

"Today we arrived, tired, worn, sad and heavy hearted. Today we left refreshed, cherished listened to and ready to fly again. Roll on next week . " CC Participant