no more dementia cafe


Registered User
Nov 8, 2012
It seems funding has been cut and both the Dementia Cafe and Singing for the Brain
service has folded in our area. My friend is very upset as she cares for her dad and these are the only activities he attends. He particularly enjoys the singing. Such a shame for her too, as it gives her a chance to get out and talk to other carers.

I was wondering if it is happening everywhere, or just here in Hertfordshire.


Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
No, starry, its here as well, east of England. AS has finished, though one has opened up about 6 miles away, some ageuk meetings have finished, or are hanging on month to month waiting for funding. It seems that practically all meetings have only half the number of people attending them than 2-3 years ago. There have been some bad choices on venue as well, which hasnt helped.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
It's quite likely a funding grant coming to an end.
You can see the grants awarded to AS

You have to dig as it is not always obvious from the title who actually benefits from a grant.

You can search for grants awarded under several parameters
you can then see if an activity you are interested is using a grant which is about to end.

Suitable venues for events are difficult to find - cost, invalid access, fire regs., insurance,....

I'm involved locally and for some meetings we are using fire station community rooms and even supermarket rooms normally used for staff briefings/inductions.

nae sporran

Registered User
Oct 29, 2014
Singing for the brain has been cut back here too. They moved a popular one to a less accessible venue then shut it down as nobody was going. Seems like a sneaky way to deal with funding cuts. I think that was run by LA and not Alz Soc though.


Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
Heard on the grapevine that there are big cutbacks due to loss of funding. Councils cannot fund anything that's not vital any more.

Unfortunately these services are not vital except to the people who use them. I loved helping out at Singing For The Brain and the Dementia Cafe near me.


Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
south-east London
The cut backs are certainly taking a bite into these kinds of activities and will continue to do so because local authorities have to become self-sufficient and restrict themselves to statutory services.

In my area the council has been working more with voluntary groups to take up some of the services which can no longer be funded. It is likely to be an approach taken elsewhere too.

There are a couple of groups I have found to be suitable which are run by churches but not requiring people to be religious. One is for people with a wide range of disabilities where attendees enjoy some great entertainment and a chance to sing and socialise. The other is for people over 60 (I get in by default as I am my husband's carer and he is over 60 :) ) This is a lovely group where folk can listen to visiting singers, join in the songs and have a bit of a dance if they feel so inclined.

I've also noticed churches in neighbouring boroughs setting up fun choirs and memory cafes. It doesn't matter if you come from a different local authority, all are welcome.

I would suggest, in the first instance, that your friend checks out the websites of some local churches and libraries to see what groups they run.

It's also worth checking out what is available generally by contacting the local voluntary service bureau - they will know of local groups and libraries running suitable events.

I hope she has some luck :)


Registered User
Sep 10, 2011
So far there's no mention of our Scarborough singing for the brain group going. It's well attended and we give a minimum £2 donation each towards costs. If it became under threat, I expect some of us would do whatever we could to keep it going. X


Registered User
Nov 8, 2012
Thanks for your responses everyone. They have given me food for thought and I will pass on your ideas and have a look at the links, Nitram.
If my friend manages to find any alternatives I will let you know. It is such a shame for all the people and their carers who enjoyed these activities....and it makes me cross although I do understand that cuts have to be made somewhere.


Registered User
Jan 1, 2016
Our local theatre does an 'outreach' singing for older people including dementia sufferers. Maybe some other theatres would consider doing the same elsewhere.