A Guide to Memory Cafés in Epping Forest

At Home Instead Epping Forest, we’re committed to supporting individuals living with dementia and their carers. One initiative we’re particularly proud to facilitate and promote is Memory Cafes – safe and inviting spaces that provide a sense of community, stimulating activities, and respite. In this guide, we’ll walk you through each of the Memory Cafés in the Epping Forest area, providing you with useful details to make your visit enjoyable.

Memory Cafe at Waltham Abbey Baptist Church

The Waltham Abbey Baptist Church hosts a Memory Cafe, every last Friday of the month from 2 pm to 4.30 pm. Attendees can expect an afternoon filled with light refreshments, interactive quizzes, and engaging bingo sessions. The occasional special taster session of Chair Yoga offers a fun way to keep fit. The venue provides off-street parking and is also close to Quaker Lane Car Park. Admission is free, and refreshments are available.

Loughton Memory Cafe

In Loughton, the Rotary has been running a Memory Cafe since 2015. Located at the Loughton Club on Station Road, IG10 4NX, it opens on the first Friday of every month, from 10 am until 12 noon. The group is run by Fran and her volunteer colleagues, who extend a warm welcome to every visitor. As parking here is on a first-come, first-served basis, be sure to register your vehicle upon entering the building. The café serves homemade cake and other refreshments, and admission is free.

Buckhurst Hill Memory Cafe

The Buckhurst Hill Memory Café, a joint initiative of the U3A, Parish Council, and Buckhurst Hill Residents Association, is a welcoming venue offering free parking. Located at Roding Valley Hall, it operates the second Friday of every month, from 10 am until 12 noon. Run by Anthony Young and his team of dedicated volunteers, attendees can expect an excellent cup of tea, served with cake and biscuits. Interactive activities such as quizzes and bingo, along with some lively entertainment, are guaranteed.

Chigwell Memory Café

This Memory Café is a relatively recent addition to the area, starting its operation in September 2022. It is held the last Friday of the month, from 10 am until 12 noon, at Chigwell Convent Hall. The venue provides ample parking and toilet facilities, with free admission and refreshments.

Waltham Abbey Community Café

Offering a relaxed and social atmosphere, the Waltham Abbey Community Café is held every Wednesday from 12 noon through to 1.45 pm. Located at the historic Museum, it often hosts active exhibitions that visitors can enjoy. After the café, a Men’s Shed session might appeal to some attendees. Admission is free, with refreshments available. You can book online here.

Tess’ Memory Café in Harlow

Moot House, provides an informal environment for socialisation and the making of new friends. It’s held every Monday from 1 pm to 3 pm, with no booking required. A nominal fee of £2 per person covers unlimited refreshments. Learn more here.

Ongar’s Memory Café

Ongar’sMemory Café at St James’ Church, St James’ Avenue, Ongar CM5 9EL, is a friendly venue that provides entertainment, quizzes, and bingo. It takes place every third Wednesday of the month, from 10 am to 12 noon. The Hall is conveniently situated behind the Church, and admission is free with refreshments provided.

Home Instead’s Memory Lane Café and Singing for the Brain Sessions

Lastly, Home Instead’s own Community Relations Manager, Maureen, has established two vibrant events in Epping Forest: the Memory Lane Café and Singing for the Brain sessions. These sessions take place at Theydon Bois Village Hall, an accessible location with plenty of parking. The Memory Lane Café, an afternoon event on the second Wednesday of the month, offers quizzes, activities, and an uplifting sing-a-long led by one of our Care Professionals, Kevin. On the third Wednesday of the month, our Singing for the Brain sessions aim to encourage social interaction through music, reminiscence, and discussion. These events require pre-booking due to high demand.

The Memory Cafés across Epping Forest serve as an invaluable resource for those affected by dementia. They provide not just a space to socialise, but also an opportunity to engage, laugh, learn, and connect. For further details on these cafés or our services, contact us at Home Instead Epping Forest at 01992 666777 or visit us at Suite 3 Premier House, 141 High Street, Epping CM16 4BD.

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